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In 1971, Dr. Cecil G. Sheps recognized the severe shortage of underrepresented minority health professionals in North Carolina, especially in rural and inner-city communities. Vowing to help provide a solution, he founded NC-HCAP (then called the NC Health Manpower Development Program) to provide academic enrichment programs and activities geared toward minority and disadvantaged students.

For 40 years, we have assisted thousands of students reach their goal of becoming health professionals and have provided career and educational resources for parents, school/college administrators, and community leaders.




Dr. Cecil G. Sheps established the NC Health Manpower Development Program (NCHMDP)

Eva Clayton was named director


UNC General Administration underwrote a portion of the Central Office on UNC’s campus

Additional NC-HCAP centers were established at Elizabeth City State University, NC Central University and the University of North Carolina at Pembroke


NCHMDP became an interinstitutional program of the University of North Carolina

Dr. E. Lavonia Allison was named director


Science Enrichment Preparation (SEP) Program began with 30 students


NCHMDP celebrated its 10th anniversary


Dr. Carolyn M. Mayo was named director

NCHMDP officially changed its name to NC Health Careers Access Program


NC-HCAP began reaching pre-college students with the addition of Health Careers Information & Enrichment (HCIE) workshops


NC-HCAP celebrated its 25th anniversary


NC-HCAP Ambassador Program was founded and established as an official student organization at UNC


NC-HCAP celebrated its 35th anniversary

Dr. Patrena N. Benton was named director


SEP Program welcomes 50 students to become the largest class to date

Health Careers Day on the Hill was created for high school students


SEP Program celebrates its 30th anniversary


SEP Program doubles original enrollment size with 60 students – the largest in the program’s history

Dr. Rosalyn Beecham-Green was named director