Alexandria Cisowski, of Greensburg, is the first student to be accepted into the new pre-osteopathic medicine program at Seton Hill University. Seton Hill’s new cooperative degree program with the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) gives Seton Hill pre-med students interested in going into osteopathic medicine the opportunity to transfer directly to the LECOM at Seton Hill medical school site after three years of undergraduate work, or after four. Students successfully completing this program will receive a Bachelor of Science degree from Seton Hill University and a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree from the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine.

“I am very excited to attend Seton Hill and then LECOM,” said Cisowksi, a senior at Hempfield Area High School. “I first visited Seton Hill last year when I received a Woman in Science Scholarship Award. I immediately fell in love with the campus and was so impressed with the faculty’s response to students. They care about their students and support them. When I learned LECOM was going to have a location at Seton Hill, I knew this is where I wanted to go to school.”

Sr. Susan Yochum, S.C., Professor of Chemistry and Chair of the Natural and Health Sciences Division at Seton Hill commented, “As a recipient of a Woman in Science 2008 Mathematics Scholarship Award, Alexandria has demonstrated tremendous academic talent that should ensure her success at Seton Hill. We are pleased that one of the Women in Science honorees is the first freshman to enroll in the pre-osteopathic medicine program at Seton Hill.”

Seton Hill will accept 25 students into its first pre-osteopathic medicine cooperative degree program class. Students enrolled in this program who successfully meet their undergraduate requirements are guaranteed acceptance into LECOM’s new medical school site on Seton Hill’s Greensburg, Pa. campus, called LECOM at Seton Hill. Highly motivated undergraduate students have the chance to transfer to medical school at LECOM at Seton Hill at the end of their junior year. LECOM at Seton Hill will open in August of 2009, and will accept medical school students from across the country, in addition to students from Seton Hill University.

The pre-osteopathic medicine cooperative degree program with LECOM is a strong component of Seton Hill’s Signature Degree Program in the Health Sciences. Seton Hill has a long history of educating successful scientists and health care professionals, including doctors (M.D.s and D.O.s), biologists, chemists, physician assistants, biochemists, dieticians, medical technologists, art and music therapists, and marriage and family therapists. Seton Hill students and faculty have recently completed research projects on prostate cancer, the response of individuals with deficiencies in DNA repair pathways to potential toxins, HIV, and Alzheimer’s, at Seton Hill and research institutions including the Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins University, and Colorado State University.

The Seton Hill Cooperative Degree Program With Lake Erie College Of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) allows biology or biochemistry majors wishing to pursue a medical career to apply for early acceptance into LECOM at Seton Hill, located right on Seton Hill’s Greensburg, Pa. campus. The cooperative degree program is comprised of two phases. Phase I consists of undergraduate education at Seton Hill (either the standard four year curriculum or a three year curriculum). Phase II then consists of four years of medical school at LECOM at Seton Hill and its associated clinical training sites, which include Excela Health hospitals in Greensburg, Pa. and the surrounding area, the Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center in Johnstown, Pa., and other LECOM-affiliated hospitals within 40 minutes of Seton Hill’s Greensburg, Pa. campus.

LECOM at Seton Hill is the newest site of the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, and will open on Seton Hill’s campus in August of 2009. LECOM’s other medical schools are in Erie, Pa. and Bradenton, Fla. It is anticipated that LECOM at Seton Hill will grow to 400 students in a few years. LECOM has extended medical education to the Seton Hill campus to attract students who will fill the need for physicians in southwestern Pennsylvania. The region surrounding Greensburg has a large, rural underserved population with a critical shortage of physicians. Medical school graduates often continue their post-graduate training and establish residency in the same area in which they attend medical school. LECOM has seen many of its graduates stay in the Erie region, and about half of its alumni remain in Pennsylvania.

Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine, D.O.s, are fully licensed in the same manner as doctors of allopathic medicine, M.D.s., and practice in the same health care institutions. D.O.s differ from M.D.s in that they receive additional training in the musculoskeletal system in order to understand how disease or injury in one part of the body affects another. D.O.s also focus on disease and injury prevention, and practice a “whole person” approach to medicine that goes beyond the treatment of specific symptoms.

Individuals interested in Seton Hill’s pre-osteopathic medicine cooperative degree program with Lake Erie College Of Osteopathic Medicine should contact a Seton Hill Admissions Counselor for more information: or 1.800.826.6234. More information, and an online application, can also be found at

The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine is a private college with medical school sites in Erie, Pa., Bradenton, Fla., and Greensburg, Pa. The nation has a growing demand for new doctors and pharmacists, and LECOM’s mission is to prepare health care professionals trained in the osteopathic tradition of competent and compassionate, whole-person primary care.