Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

ASGCGP Inaugural Class

Following are answers to some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). If your question is not answered on this page or throughout our other webpages, please contact us at genetics@augie.edu.

Questions

Answers

When can I enter the program?

Students enter as part of a cohort, with each cohort beginning in the fall of each year (e.g. Fall 2020, Fall 2021). Students are selected for each cohort in the spring prior to the start of the next academic year (e.g selected Spring 2021 for Fall 2021 start date) and proceed through courses together.

How many students are selected each year?

The ASGCGP admits ten (10) students per cohort (i.e. per academic year), five (5) for the Sioux Falls Area track and five (5) for the San Diego track.

Can I attend part-time?

No, the ASGCGP does not offer the option to study part-time.

Is the ASGCGP offered online?

No. Students must be physically present for classes, rotations, and other program activities.

How long does it take to complete the program and what is the attrition rate?

The program is considered a two-year academic program, but, technically, it takes 21 months to complete. The first academic year consists of fall, winter, and spring sessions. The second academic years consists of summer, fall, winter, and spring sessions. 100% of program graduates have graduated according to plan with a 0% attrition rate.

How are the Sioux Falls Area and San Diego tracks decided?

As part of the Match process, applicants who were interviewed by the program will rank the tracks based on their preferences. If applicants are interested in either track, they rank both tracks, ranking the track they prefer most first. If applicants are interested in only the Sioux Falls Area or San Diego track, they rank only the track in which they are interested. When the Match results are released, applicants will find out if they matched to a program and, if matched to the ASGCGP, to which track they matched. Applicants who are willing to match with either track are eligible for all 10 open slots, whereas applicants who are willing to match with only one track are eligible for only 5 open slots. Although the tracks indicate where a student will spend their second year, all students spend their first year in Sioux Falls.

What is the difference between the early application deadline and the regular application deadline?

The ASGCGP will begin reviewing early applications starting December 15, 2020. After all early applications have been reviewed, others applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Interviews may be offered between the application deadlines to the strongest candidates, but final decisions for some applications will not be made until after all applications have been reviewed. Applying early could be beneficial for applicants who need more time to arrange travel for interviews.

Does the ASGCGP require the GRE?

For most applicants, the program has found they are able to demonstrate their potential for academic success through GPAs alone. However, it recognizes that for some applicants, for a multitude of reasons, their GPAs may not be entirely reflective of their academic ability. If you believe your GPAs are not entirely reflective of your academic ability, the GRE may be helpful in demonstrating your academic potential to reviewers. The program welcomes the supplemental submission of GRE General Test scores if you think your scores may help highlight your academic potential. For more information, please see the program's Application Checklist webpage.

Will the ASGCGP be holding in-person interviews in 2021?

Given the seriousness and uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, the program has decided to hold virtual interviews in 2021. While the ASGCGP and its applicants enjoy and value in-person interviews, the program has previous experience with virtual interviews and is committed to providing a virtual interview experience similar to an in-person experience. Interviews will take place via zoom on February 19, February 26, March 5, March 12, and March 19.

Will the ASGCGP provide application feedback and/or advice to prospective applicants?

Individuals who apply to the ASGCGP but don't match with it may reach out to the program by emailing genetics@augie.edu from May 1 to August 15 of each year. The program will provide feedback on the applicant's most recent ASGCGP application. In addition, the program is willing to facilitate campus visits or virtual meetings to provide general information and advice to prospective applicants. The program will not pre-review application materials nor will it facilitate visits or meetings with applicants during or in relation to an open Admission cycle.

What is the job outlook for genetic counselors?

Employment of genetic counselors is projected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations. The most up-to-date job outlook for genetic counselors can be found in the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook. One hundred percent (100%) of ASGCGP graduates have been employed as genetic counselors within six months of graduation, and the large majority have been employed prior to graduation.

What is the program's first-time board pass rate?

The program's first-time board pass rate for the most recent three-year period is 88.5%.

Do I have to reapply to the program every year?

Yes. Your application will be considered among all applications submitted during the same admission cycle.

Do I have to pay to reapply every year?

Yes. Both the Match and ASGCGP application fees must be paid each year and are non-refundable. The Match application registration fee is $100 USD, and the ASGCGP Slate application fee is $25 USD. Please see our Admission Criteria & Application Process webpage for more information.

Do I have to resubmit application materials if I applied to the program in a previous year?

You will be asked in your current Slate application if you have applied to the program before. If you indicate that you have applied to the program before, you will not need to resubmit official transcripts, your WES Evaluation (international applicants only), GRE scores, or TOEFL/IELTS scores (international applicants only) unless they have changed since you last submitted them and/or unless they have become outdated. All other application materials, including letters of recommendation, must be resubmitted annually. If you do not want the program to use your previously submitted GRE scores because GRE scores are optional for the 2021 admission cycle, you may indicate that on your current Slate application.

Does the program accept international applications?

Yes. The program will review and seriously consider all international applications it receives. A select number of overseas applicants will be given the option to interview by video conferencing (e.g. zoom).

Does the program offer any assistantships, fellowships, or scholarships?

The ASGCGP does not offer any assistantships, fellowships, or scholarships. However, you may be able to receive outside financial support from other organizations, such as hospitals or health systems. This type of financial support is handled directly and exclusively by the organizations which offer it. For more information about financing your education, please see our Tuition and Fees webpage.

Is financial aid available for the program?

Yes, federal financial aid is available to those who qualify. File the FAFSA at fafsa.gov and enter Augustana's school code: 003458. Graduate students, who are eligible, have the option to borrow a Federal Unsubsidized loan and/or a Federal Graduate PLUS loan. See studentaid.gov for more information on the federal programs available to graduate students. Financial Aid is not available during the summer term. You will want to plan accordingly.

Can I work while I am a student?

It depends on your ability to balance school and work. Classes are generally held during the day Tuesdays and Thursdays and on Wednesday afternoons. Rotations, meetings, and events occur during the day Monday and Friday and on Wednesday mornings. Thus, any job you hold will need to be a night or weekend job. You will be notified in advance of any activities that will occur outside of the normal Monday-Friday, 8:00 AM-5:00 PM time frame.

Will I be busy with rotations all summer?

No. You will have a small break (~two weeks) during the summer. You will work out your summer schedule with one of our Assistant Program Directors and the supervisor for your rotation. 

Does the program offer housing?

Housing is the responsibility of the student, regardless of where the student is assigned to rotations. There is limited housing on the Augustana University campus, which is available on a first-come, first-served basis. The Genetic Counseling Department is happy to provide information to help you with your housing search.

Will I need a car?

Probably. Students are responsible for their own transportation to classes, rotation sites, and other program events.

The Augustana University and Sanford Health campuses are centrally located in Sioux Falls and within walking or biking distance of grocery stores, restaurants, banks, and other common destinations. The Sioux Area Metro (SAM) transit system has a bus stop located on campus. More information on the SAM transit system, including routes and fares, can be found on the SAM website. While having a car in Sioux Falls will be helpful for getting around, especially on cold days, it may not be necessary depending upon your beginning and ending locations and your resourcefulness.

For students completing their second year in San Diego, a car is strongly recommended, as rotation sites are located across the city and the public transportation system does not provide efficient access to all sites. However, depending on where you live in San Diego, the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) may be helpful for getting to some rotation sites or to other destinations around the city. MTS includes a network of buses and a light rail system known as “The Trolley.” More information on MTS, including routes and fares can be found on the MTS website. Additionally, there are commuter trains that provide access to coastal areas in North San Diego County. Please vist the North Country Transit District (NCTD) website for more information.

Do I need a "special" car to get around in Sioux Falls during the winter?

Not really. It's difficult to drive a rear-wheel drive vehicle in the snow, but any other type of vehicle will work. Additionally, the city streets are plowed after most snowfalls and are rarely impassable. You may also benefit from having all-season tires on your vehicle.

Will I need my own computer?

Yes. While you will have access to other computer resources, each student should have their own laptop.


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