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Students in the post-baccalaureate certificate and graduate programs on the Health Science Campus (MS, PhD, and first professional programs including DDS, PharmD, and MD) are highly motivated to succeed in their chosen career paths. Needless to say, these courses are very heavy on didactics and challenge the best of the students. Typically, these programs have rigid curricular designs and offer little to no flexibility to students in choosing the courses. It is fast-paced, high in curricular hours and the students cannot afford to have mishaps without jeopardizing their careers. While this stringent curriculum is necessary for VCU to maintain its accreditation standards and global standing, it does take a toll on students’ performance and well-being. The Division of Academic Success (DAS) on the Health Science campus provides an excellent support net for these students in terms of identifying and supporting students needing accommodations, teaching time management and study habits, and test taking strategies. Conversations among team members, students and program directors representing different units in the Health Science Campus, as well as discussions with DAS staff, revealed lack of awareness of the comprehensive services provided by the DAS and no standard policy/ guideline across different schools as to when to engage the DAS to help students in need. To improve utilization, this project proposes that DAS focus on three key areas: education and training, promotion and marketing, and redesign and elevation of existing resources.
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VCU Grace E. Harris Leadership Institute Publications