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A Message from the Associate Provost for Education and Student Life

Like the elements in the periodic table, students, each with unique characteristics, are the essential elements that define MUSC as a university. Research is conducted at many types of institutions, and numerous hospitals across the state provide health care.

The addition of our students makes MUSC a university and the only comprehensive academic health center in the state. As is the case with the elements in the periodic table, our students come together to form new entities: six colleges – one university.

Building upon the notion that our students are essential for creating a university, we in the division of Education and Student Life (ESL) see ourselves and our programs as catalysts.

We enable a significant change in our students, which would otherwise not be possible. Working closely with the dedicated faculty and staff in the colleges, we create an environment where students not only learn what is needed to excel in their professions but also refine the skills they need to thrive in their personal lives and become leaders in their communities.

One of the ways in which ESL helps to transform students is through our Creating Collaborative Care (C3) program in which students learn to become effective collaborators as part of an interprofessional team for health care delivery and translational research. Because effective teamwork reduces medical errors and improves patient outcomes, we partner with the colleges to instill collaborative skills in our students. In fact, we have become a national leader in interprofessional education, providing a formula for others to model.

Students are essential - ESL works as a catalystOur National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI) is another pathway through which students strengthen their respect for one another and their respect for the value inherent in having a diverse health care team. Our NCBI program began as a co-curricular offering and this year made the important transition into the formal curricula of three colleges, thereby compounding its exposure and affirming its importance.

Another way that ESL serves as a catalyst is in the development of student guidelines for environmental sustainability and social networking. Through these initiatives and our wellness programs, we encourage students to be good stewards of their communities and themselves. The MUSC Gives Back program also is a catalyst for students who wish to demonstrate their caring by volunteering.

Just as research is vital to the University, research is a significant element of ESL. With the addition of an accomplished researcher, Suzanne Thomas, PhD, we affirm our commitment to infusing scholarship into all we do. Our research will inform our decision-making, advance the scientific literature, and ensure we become a model for other student life programs globally.

Of course, all elements of ESL must be studied, and as students are elemental to the University, their satisfaction is essential to ESL’s success.

In our 2010 Student Satisfaction Survey, a remarkable 97% reported they are happy with ESL services; 96% reported they made the right choice in selecting MUSC; and 96% reported they are receiving a high quality education. Students’ feedback and our dedication create a synergy that permeates our programs, motivating us to strive even harder to create a healthy environment for students. I am honored to have the opportunity to lead faculty and staff who approach their work with enthusiasm and dedication to excellence.

Students are elemental to the University. ESL is where their professional and personal lives meet. They, and the ESL faculty and staff, come together to create a compound greater than the sum of its parts. We are dedicated to helping students reach their professional and personal dreams and are rewarded by their success. We trust you will enjoy reading about our accomplishments and goals, and we welcome your feedback.