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Center For Academic Excellence

Services Offered

Supplemental Instruction

Even the brightest learners are most effective when they are active in the learning process, engage with other learners, and ask questions of those with more experience. That’s why the CAE offers Supplemental Instruction to every student enrolled at MUSC.

We hire senior students who have done well in a course to work as instructors for small groups—usually about six students. These tutored learning groups work interactively to master the challenging and voluminous material typically presented in lectures within health professional curricula. Usually, the groups meet twice per week with materials and a room supplied by the CAE.

Not only do participating students report high satisfaction with their learning in these groups but our studies also have shown that Supplemental Instructors themselves perform better in coursework and on board exams. Any student may request Supplemental Instruction for any course.

To do so, simply submit the request form.

Study Skills

Our students find the curricula at MUSC to be more challenging than any they have previously faced as undergraduates or even in other graduate programs. And often the strategies that made students successful there don’t work here.

While all of our students are fully capable of mastering the concepts and information presented in fast-paced lectures, the sheer volume can be an adjustment challenge—the saying goes, “it’s like drinking from a fire hose.”

Often, students’ initial response to this new situation is simply to continue doing what they have always done—just doing it longer and working harder. CAE faculty are quite familiar with all the curricula at MUSC, and they are also familiar with the latest scholarship on how people learn. This knowledge allows us to collaborate with you, tailoring proven study methods to your individual needs and learning styles.

We encourage all students to schedule an individual consultation with a faculty member to learn, develop, or hone their approaches to learning. We will also develop workshops suitable for particular learners or programs.

Services for Students  |  Services for Faculty

Interprofessional Humanities Courses

As a center for the humanities on campus, we want students to develop a fuller appreciation for the importance of human connection in practice and biomedical research. Therefore, our faculty offer three interprofessional humanities courses: Health Care and the Humanities, Films of the Clinical Experience, and Making Clinical Connections: Writing the Health Care Experience.

Each course emphasizes how the study of narrative and the act of writing can make students better interpreters of patient stories and more reflective in their own practice and research. These are 12-week electives for 2.5 credit hours.

Test Taking Strategies

At MUSC, taking tests is a significant reading challenge. For hours upon hours, students prepare by studying notes, working in Supplemental Instruction groups, or gathering in less formal settings to discuss what they’re learning.

When they get to the test, they see information they have learned presented in a different way. Applying learned information to new situations is the core reading challenge. Some adjust more rapidly than others to this task. To speed this adjustment, the CAE offers individual coaching, using practice tests, to every student in any program.

Schedule an appointment now.

Scientific Editing and Scholarly Publications

Do you want to eliminate the headaches of research proposal preparation in addition to having a flawless and professional document, a perfect layout, and full compliance with any foundation or sponsor?

Would you like to email your research proposal to someone and receive a finished, formatted, compliant proposal ready for electronic or paper submission, often in 24 hours? Are you tired of typing references and too busy to learn Endnote? Would you like to submit peer-reviewed manuscripts to any journal with less effort and time? Let us help you!

Email an inquiry and set up an appointment!

Learning Style Assessment

Learners are different from each other. Some prefer to study deep into the night; others get up at the crack of dawn. Perhaps you demand complete silence when you study, or maybe you feel the need to play Mozart on the iPod.

In consultation with our faculty, students have been known to say, “I can see it on the page of my notes,” or “I remember things that I have explained to someone else.” The learning styles suggested by such comments, as well as the preferences that might lead one learner to use earplugs while another uses earbuds, are the subjects of study in the CAE’s Learning Style Assessment.

Learners are encouraged to schedule an appointment to take this assessment, then discuss the results with faculty, who will suggest a variety of study approaches based on each learner’s learning style and learning preferences.

Schedule an appointment.

Time Management Strategies

Your life is happening now—it cannot be put on hold while you complete your education—and like learning, the ability to manage time is a life skill. Doing it well often marks the difference between those who get by and those who excel.

Many people have heard about a variety of techniques for managing time. In fact, the calendar and daytimer businesses make a killing at the beginning of school semesters. Unfortunately, as any carpenter will tell you, having the tool doesn’t mean knowing how to use it. Among the core problems faced by MUSC students is that there is literally not enough time in the day to learn and do all that could be done to care about their future patient.

Priorities—for learning and for living a well-balanced life—must be set, a truism that is, of course, easier said than done. Because the challenge lies in applying time management tools to particular circumstances faced by each student, the CAE faculty consult individually with students who will one day consult individually with their clients and patients on such issues.

Our faculty also tailor workshops to the needs of particular groups of students or others.


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