To promote public health and the USPHS services and opportunities.
The Student Commissioned Officer Association (SCOA) is dedicated to providing students with opportunities to explore careers with the Public Health Service (PHS) during their time at the College of Pharmacy. Some of the biggest opportunities available to students in their first year include IPPE rotations with the Indian Health Service (IHS); JRCOSTEPs/externships with IHS, Bureau of Prisons, FDA, CDC, etc; and a mentorship program that matches students with a Commissioned Corps officer of the USPHS. This year, mentors from out of state IHS facilities are available for students. SCOA also advocates for and hosts activities that foster discussion on public health issues. Some past and upcoming initiatives include smoking cessation, a steps competition, and the 4-liter Water Challenge used to educate students about the Navajo Water Project. SCOA, like other professional organizations, has a regional professional meeting in Fargo, ND. This is a great networking opportunity for students to meet USPHS officers in IHS facilities throughout the midwest. Joining SCOA gets students in touch with both professionals and peers who share similar interests in public health.