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Academic Support Programs

COM Learning Communities

Our medical school classes are divided into smaller co-horts that have community-established identities. Each community is made up of students from each of the four classes and is facilitated by a team of faculty and professionals. Our learning communities take the form of five distinct societies with the following characteristics:

  1. 130 students per society
    • ~32 students from each of the four classes
  2. Community Facilitators per Society
    • Chair (clinical department head) and 1 Co-chair (clinician)
    • 8 Clinical Faculty Members (from different departments)
    • 2 Basic Science Faculty Members
    • 2 Student Affairs Staff Members
    • 6 Student/Peer Advisors

The purpose of the learning community model at Upstate is three-fold:

  1. To build strong community and pride among students
  2. To offer the very best advising and career development for students
  3. To facilitate a culture of professionalism and wellness

Societies meet regularly throughout the academic year in both social and educational contexts. Three times each year there are full society meetings/gatherings that may blend social interaction with an educational message. In addition, there are be targeted, population specific sessions that serve to complement advising and career development and enhance comprehension of such things as professionalism, cultural competence and team work.

One of the things that leads to the success of learning communities is their identity. Such identities are tied to the roots of the institution. Students are encouraged to “own” the identity through a project or shared goal.

Mentors in Healthcare (MiH)

The Mentors in Healthcare program is an initiative specifically geared toward students from traditionally under-represented populations. This program is administered by Student Affairs staff within the Student Success Cluster. Small group mentoring meetings are scheduled four times a year, and students are assigned to a specific mentoring group. The mentors are made up of senior students, faculty and staff. We well understand that under-represented students face unique situations and this is especially true for those who come from a distance to be part of our community. The MiH program seeks to assist with transition issues, academic success, and personal connections.

Tutoring Program

Tutoring is available to students. Many of the courses provide tutorial sessions given by faculty in the course. Most lectures are videotaped for review online. The Office of Academic Support Services has a principal goal of facilitating student success in the classroom by offering a variety of services and programs to students of all colleges. Services provided include workshops, academic counseling, peer tutoring, and suggested academic strategies. For more information contact the Office of Academic Support Services, Room 125, Library, @ 315-464-8851, email AcademicSupport@upstate.edu.