AHEC Career Enhancement Scholars Program

Missouri AHEC initiated the ACES Program in 2001. MAHEC centers provide high school students with year-round programming for students interested in primary care medicine, nursing, dentistry, and other health careers. The ACES Program provides students with structured career exploration and health career-skill building activities. Program components also include college readiness, career planning, academic/health career prep workshops, structured job shadowing, and health leadership projects.

This program accepts students from diverse backgrounds, offering particular encouragement to students:

  • Who display a strong interest in pursuing a career in primary care

  • Who are from medically underserved rural and urban population groups

  • Who are first generation college students

  • Who are from socio-economically disadvantaged families

Program Purpose:

  • To address the shortage of primary healthcare providers in underserved areas of Missouri

  • To give students a competitive edge in attaining primary healthcare career goals

  • To build relationships between students and communities

  • To nurture the students’ career interests through educational experiences

Application Requirements: This program is for high school (ACES) and undergraduate (ACES+) students who display strong interest in pursuing careers in primary healthcare. Students who are interested must have a 3.0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) and submit a completed application that includes:

  1. Two letters of recommendation from a school counselor or faculty member.

  2. An essay that explains the student’s personal interest in a primary care profession and what they hope to gain through ACES.

  3. A copy of school transcripts through the previous quarter of the application date.

Program Topics

ACES is a two year program which requires 30 hours of participation over the course of the two years. Students are expected to attend workshops on the following topics:

  • Public Health

  • Infection Control


  • Cultural Competency

  • Health Literacy

  • Vital Signs/CPR

  • Healthcare Ethics

  • Professionalism

  • Job Shadow Etiquette