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MUSC Education & Student Life Annual Report for 2010-2011

ESL Annual Report | Message from the Associate Provost

“One story, many voices” conveys an image of diversity in action and unity in purpose, representing the intertwining of campus services and the lives of our students.

Education and Student Life (ESL) could be viewed as the “backstory” leading to graduation. The popularity of reality TV and evening news shows tells us people have an interest in learning about the backstory—not just about events, but their effect on people. ESL faculty and staff spend every day striving to enhance the lives of our students as they learn to master all of the complexities of their disciplines. We are the backstory for their struggles and successes in biochemistry, anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, and health care administration. We may appear to be behind the scenes, but students know we are here and they know where to find us.

Students find us encouraging their physical and emotional well-being as we lead them in Tae Bo® or Zumba®, treat their illnesses quickly so they won’t miss classes, and facilitate counseling sessions to help them create effective ways to handle the stress brought on by school and family. We add balance to their hectic lives, making sure they “have a life” by arranging barbecues,
oyster roasts, and other social “get togethers,” and sponsoring cultural events like art walks, so they have time with friends and enjoy living in Charleston. We expand their minds and prepare them for the changing world of health care and science by asking them to analyze their beliefs about other cultures and diversity and by teaching a team approach to health care. We help them hold onto the altruistic values that led to their career choices by creating humanities courses and going with them into the community to care for others who need their help.

When students get lost in a lecture, we are there behind the scenes, capturing that lecture so they can retrieve it in a quiet place. We are present when a nursing student in Iowa turns on her computer to take a class at midnight. We sit beside them, helping them to figure out how to study huge volumes of material and master the art of taking multiple-choice tests. As they struggle to
write “one more coherent sentence” for a required paper, we teach them to think about their audiences in the same way they will one day lovingly care for patients or find a cure for breast cancer.

Without financial support, none of their education can happen, so we are there helping them fill out mountains of forms to ensure they have money for tuition and books, rent and food. We are never satisfied, always wanting to be more effective, so we are constantly examining our work, conducting research, and analyzing what we are doing. We publish our results so other health care/biomedical universities can use ESL’s model to create similar programs to enhance the lives of their students.

On behalf of Education and Student Life, I invite you to read our story for 2010-2011. You will hear the unique voices of students, faculty, and staff who communicate the same story—a story documenting the transition from student to graduate, a story of achieving academic success. These voices illustrate the breadth, scope, and joy of our rewarding work. You will discover the backstory—the strong supporting role played by Education and Student Life. From learning strategies to stress management, the array of services offered by the ten units of ESL creates 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.

Although our 2010-2011 story highlights individuals, we actively listen to the voices of all students, faculty, and staff to confirm that we are doing the right things. Results of surveys administered in 2011 told us that 95% of students believe ESL contributed to their academic success. Associate deans, SGA representatives, and college-specific, front-line student services personnel were equally satisfied with ESL units. In addition, 93% of ESL staff and faculty agree they made the right choice to work at MUSC. We are doing our job and we are doing it well.

Students, faculty, staff—many voices, one story. Six colleges, one university. We invite you to join the conversation.


Darlene Shaw, PhD, Associate Provost for Education and Student Life



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