Academic Support

Biennium I

Early identification of problems begins with: pre-matriculation performance, self-assessment academic evaluations, optional diagnostic testing, frequent course testing, and observations by faculty and staff. The associate deans for both Student and Academic Affairs monitor student performance on all tests throughout the academic year and, as needed, initiate discussions with at risk students, course directors, academic advisors and, the support personnel.

Types of Academic Support

The academic advisor, Laura M. Johnson, located in the Office of Academic Affairs, will notify a student whose progress in a course is not satisfactory. In such cases, the student is responsible for scheduling an appointment with the academic advisor. During the appointment, the academic advisor will recommend a mutually agreed upon intervention or study plan for the student. The plan may include recommendations that the student seek group or private tutoring, evaluation of study and time management skills, financial assistance, professional counseling or other measures that may assist the student in having successful outcomes. It is the responsibility of the student to implement the plan that is developed, and to correct unsatisfactory performance.

The student may also contact the Office of Student Affairs and Admissions for guidance and to discuss school policies, including policies governing dropping a course, academic probation, dismissal, or withdrawal.

Individual and small group tutors are available to students who are at risk or experiencing difficulty with a course. Tutor assignments are made through the academic advisor, (937) 775-3392.

Evaluation for specific learning disabilities is available on request. Academic support personnel in the Office of Student Affairs or the WSU Office of Disability Services in the Student Union can provide you with a list of professional evaluators. The criteria used by the National Board of Medical Examiners for determining accommodations on the USMLE is available in the Office of Student Affairs.

Summer make-up courses are available for students who have permission from the Student Promotions Committee to repeat a course. A catalog of available courses is on file in the office of the Associate Dean for Student Affairs.

Requesting a Tutor

Students who believe they need the assistance of a tutor should make a short appointment (10-15 minutes) with the academic advisor, (937) 775-3392. A brief form is filled out during that appointment.

Each student is subsequently matched with a pre-certified tutor, and notified by e-mail. The tutor is also notified of the match/assignment. It is the responsibility of the student (tutee) to contact the tutor to set up a meeting time. Most tutoring sessions take place weekly, although there may be some weeks in which the tutee or tutor is unavailable. All sessions are required to be done face-to-face.

Tutees

Within 24 hours of assignment notification tutees are expected to make an appointment with their assigned tutor. Appointments cannot be made more than four days in advance. Missing more than two appointments without 24-hour advanced cancellation will require the tutee to see the academic advisor in order to continue to be eligible to use the tutoring services. Canceling more than two appointments during a term will require the tutee to see the academic advisor in order to continue to be able to use the services.

Tutees are limited to two, one-hour appointments per week. Tutors are allowed a maximum of seven tutoring hours (this includes prep time) per week. Tutoring may continue for most of a term, last only a few weeks, or, the assigned tutor may remain with the tutee through second year, depending on the need. Tutees who use tutors are asked to evaluate their experiences at the end of every term. Tutors and tutees are required to sign in and out of appointments using the tutoring report sheet. If the demand for tutors exceeds the availability tutees who are no longer deemed by the academic advisor to be in essential need of the service may be asked to give up their spot for another student.

Selection Criteria

The need for tutoring is determined by the following criteria:

  • Current course grade
  • Assessment tests/exam score(s)
  • Course director’s and/or academic advisor’s judgment
  • Student’s understanding of course concepts

 

Tutors

Selection, Training and Pay

Upper class students who completed a course with a minimum of 80 percent in the course to be tutored, and a cumulative grade average of 75 percent or better for all courses in an academic year will be considered to work as tutors. If a student's cumulative course grade average falls below 75 percent, he/she will be asked to stop tutoring. Tutoring is a professional job and should be treated as such, by both the students making the appointments and by tutors. Respecting each other's time is of the utmost importance. Each tutor is allowed a maximum of seven hours per week total tutoring time regardless of his/her academic proficiency.

In the April through May time frame of each year, the academic advisor will query students who may be interested in tutoring for the upcoming academic year. In the subsequent fall term, a training and information session will be provided for potential tutors. This session is mandatory for everyone who wants to tutor. Payroll issues, tutoring guidelines, recommendations, and other logistics are discussed. The academic advisor will finalize a tutor’s list of preferred content areas. Additional tutors may sign up at the beginning the fall term, but preferably prior to the fall. They should see the academic advisor by the end of the first week of classes if possible. (Occasionally additional tutors are recruited later in the year.)

Orientation is mandatory for all tutors. The following topics are covered:

  • Time and effort expected of tutors.
  • Administrative procedures, including electronic time cards, tutoring logs, and time limitations.
  • Changes in course requirements, objectives, and content.
  • Tutoring methods, approaches, and strategies.
  • The role of a facilitator in group-based learning.
  • End of term tutor evaluations.

Tutors and tutees are required to sign in and out of appointments using the tutoring report sheet. There will be no exceptions. Tutors missing or canceling appointments will be asked to re-evaluate their desire to tutor. They will be referred to the academic advisor, and in most cases tutors missing more than three appointments will be asked to stop tutoring.

Tutors are paid $10 per hour. They are limited to seven hours of prep and tutoring (either group or, individual-to-individual sessions) per week and, are required to complete the tutoring report (which logs the number of hours spent tutoring), name of the student(s) tutored, subject, a brief description of content covered, problems, and recommendations. Both the tutor and tutee must sign the Tutoring Report. Tutors are permitted to work a maximum of five hours per week, in addition to prep time (no more than two hours maximum per week — approval will be required for any hours over the seven-hour maximum). E-mail, texting, and/or telephone contact are not considered tutoring sessions, and should not be recorded in the tutor’s WINGS Express time sheet or tutoring report as such. Tutors are required to meet face-to-face with their tutee(s).

Tutors are only paid when they complete and submit for approval their WINGS Express time sheet and, turn in the tutoring report for that pay period end. Students are limited to working no more than seven hours per week.

Paychecks are direct deposited into the tutor's personal bank account on the Friday two weeks after any time card is submitted. Tutoring reports should be turned in to the academic advisor by 10 a.m. on the Thursday before the end of each pay period; but, no later than Friday, 5 p.m., of that pay period end. If a holiday falls on that Friday pay period end, the academic advisor will notify tutors via e-mail to submit time sheets early. Tutors are required submit time cards electronically in WINGS Express. Time sheets are verified for accuracy and will not be approved until a completed tutoring report is submitted for the corresponding pay period.

Wright State University has rules for student employment that state, “Under no circumstances should tutors begin working until contracts have been processed. If tutors do not turn in their contracts within three days of the first workday, they will be enrolled in the Ohio Public Employee Retirement System (PERS), and 8.5 percent of their pay will be withheld for the entire year. Furthermore, if tutor time cards are not processed and paid in a timely manner, withholding taxes may jump to 20 percent if processed late.”

Expectations for Tutors & Tutees

Tutors are expected to meet with tutee(s) on a regular basis, as agreed, even through exam periods. This requirement applies at all times including final examination weeks. Exceptions to this policy are made when the tutor or tutee has personal extenuating circumstances or when the tutee is no longer in need of tutoring. Those tutoring more than one tutee at the same time may not multiply the number of hours by the number of students in a particular session. Tutors are required to report to the academic advisor if they are not able to work. Should students stop tutoring or want a new tutee, they should inform the academic advisor.

Tutoring sessions should take place in a safe mutually agreed upon location, preferably in an educational environment rather than the tutor or tutee's residence. Tutees are encouraged to schedule sessions regularly throughout the term and not just plan on a one-time “intensive tutoring” session just prior to exams.

The tutor should meet with the course instructor when there is a question about content. Reference materials such as textbooks, manuals, and self-assessment materials are available in the Office of Student Affairs and Admissions. No more than two items may be checked out at one time. Initial assignment of tutors will be based on a students' request and their academic ranking derived from undergraduate GPA and MCAT scores. Once academic performance information is available from courses, tutors may be reassigned to students who have greater academic needs, especially if there is a shortage of tutors. Due to potential conflicts of interest, tutoring close friends or spouses is discouraged.

If a problem develops between a tutor and a tutee which hinders productive tutoring, or if the tutor is not effective, a tutee may request a new tutor through the academic advisor.

Study Groups

The academic advisor, to accommodate a great demand for tutors, sometimes coordinates study groups. Each study group will have one upperclassman tutor as a facilitator and no more than six tutees. However, at the discretion of the academic advisor this may not exceed eight tutees. The tutor and tutees should meet regularly once or twice a week. The academic advisor located in the Office of Academic Affairs will periodically monitor the study groups. These organized study groups are not changed during a course unless a student chooses to leave the group.

Advantages of group study:

  • Students come prepared for each session.
  • Discussion brings out a variety of approaches to problems and concepts.
  • Group participation builds self-confidence in one's knowledge base.
  • Group participation promotes life-long learning skills.
  • Group interaction increases sensitivity to individuality and promotes interpersonal skills required for learning and working in clinical settings.

Biennium II

As in the first biennium, our goal is to identify academic and non-cognitive problems early in the clinical years. Clerkship directors are encouraged to provide timely feedback to students throughout the clerkship or at least by the midpoint of the clerkship. Clerkship directors are encouraged to document academic and/or behavioral problems, discuss the documented deficiencies with the student and bring them to the attention of the Associate Dean for Student Affairs.

Types of Academic Support

  • Clerkship directors, preceptors, and residents are available to assist students throughout the clerkship experience. Students should take responsibility for seeking help as soon as they are aware of academic or personality problems that interfere with clinical performance. The clerkship director has a number of resources available to help students be successful. In some cases the clerkship director, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, and the student's advisor may consult together to determine the best approach to helping a student.
  • A student's advisor generally provides independent and objective advice to a student. Developing a continuing relationship with your advisor can be very beneficial throughout the clinical years. Advisors are trained to do academic counseling and have access to numerous resources in the school and community.
  • A student with an academic or behavioral problem may be assigned to a faculty mentor.
  • Occasionally, students are placed in a non-graded clerkship to work on specific deficiencies. The Student Promotions Committee determines the objectives and monitors the student's progress through the clerkship.
  • At times, a student may need to take a leave of absence in order to resolve a problem (see LOA policy).

Academic Advisors

Roles of Advisors

In the beginning of Year-2, all students are assigned a Careers in Medicine Academic Advisor who is a physician and faculty member. Advisors provide a wide variety of assistance to students, helping them to succeed both academically and personally. In the eyes of students, they may be a mentor, friend, or advocate amongst the physician faculty. They have an ongoing relationship with students, lasting for the duration of medical school. The role of the Advisor is as varied as the individuals who serve in this capacity. There are, however, certain common roles that they fulfill for students.

Mentor

Frequently, the Advisor takes on the role of a mentor. This depends on the individual student, the Advisor, and circumstance to a large extent. The Advisor is a role model for the student to at least some degree in all Advisor-advisee relationships. In some cases where the chemistry is right, the Advisor may become the most important role model for the student. This often leads to more interaction between the student and Advisor and a more active role for the Advisor as a career counselor for the student. Advisors are trained in helping students to accurately self assess their strengths and weaknesses, to explore the various specialties of medicine, and to find a specialty which is the best fit for the student.

Friend

The Advisor most often plays the role of a friendly person among our academic community who can listen and talk to students free of other responsibilities such as grading, supervising, or disciplining. Until students reach Year-2, they may not have had an opportunity to relate in a close manner with clinical physician faculty. Because they were medical students once, Advisors can empathize with students in a way that even parents, old friends or clergy cannot. Being a receptive and friendly ear to students is one of their most important roles.

Advocate

Infrequently Advisors may be called upon to serve as the student's advocate in interacting with administration, faculty, residents, etc. Students who are appealing decisions of the Student Promotions Committee may wish to have their Advisor accompany them to their appeal hearings before the committee. Similarly, should a student have a hearing before the Honor Code Council, he or she may wish to be accompanied by their Advisor. These are only a few of the ways Advisors serve in the role of an advocate for the student.

The Advisor System

Academic Advisors serve as the first tier in providing students with guidance and assistance. Although an attempt is made to match students with an advisor in their specialty of preference, this is not always possible due to the limited number of available advisors. One of the advisor's most important roles is to help students plan fourth year schedules. They also assist students in the residency application process. Advisors are not expected to be knowledgeable about residency programs in all specialties of medicine.