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At St. Matthew's University, we are as committed to your dream as you are. Our faculty and staff do everything possible to maximize your opportunity to succeed academically.

To that end, we have developed SMU’s one-of-a-kind Center for Learning Enhancement (CLE). This center is a set of services that is integrated with and integral to the overall program for learning at SMU. The CLE’s mission is to assist and encourage medical students to develop their academic and personal skills to foster greater academic success. These goals are accomplished through services of the CLE which include Faculty Reviews and Tutoring, Teaching Assistants, Peer Tutoring, Academic Development Workshops, and our unique Student Development Course. Qualified counselors also serve as Academic Advisors to offer individual help on request.

Faculty Reviews and Tutoring

No other medical school faculty is as committed to the success of students as the dedicated team of educators at St. Matthew's University. For each of the Basic Science courses, the faculty offer general review sessions outside of normal class times. These sessions, available to any and all SMU students, review the key points covered in the course.

Basic Science faculty also offer small group tutoring sessions , which provide practice exam questions and other practical techniques including improving students’ test-taking skills. Finally, after each exam, faculty schedule one-on-one time to review test questions with students. Students with poor exam results are expected to schedule additional time with faculty to review the areas where the individual student struggled with the material.

The faculty member who teaches the course is the first person to whom a student should turn for help, but other resources are available through the Office of Student Affairs’ Center for Learning Enhancement.

Teaching Assistants

At SMU we recognize the value of peer-assisted learning. Teaching Assistants are upper-semester Basic Science students who have demonstrated an excellent knowledge of course material. They are provided by the University at no cost to the student. They schedule group sessions in which they review practice questions which are provided by professors, as well as other materials to support the student’s understanding of course material. They also suggest learning strategies that have worked well for them in a given course.

Individual Peer Tutors

Students who have excelled in given courses are invited by the University to serve as individual peer tutors. These students are available for individual help in each course. The Office of Student Affairs arranges for tutors on request from students, but fees and meeting schedules are arranged between the tutor and the student.

Academic Advisors in the Office of Student Affairs

Academic advisors are also available to offer general assistance to students with the following:

  1. Organization of course materials
  2. Time management
  3. How to study for and take multiple choice exams
  4. Reading for retention
  5. Stress management strategies
  6. Listening for Learning: How to maintain good attention in lectures
  7. Assessment of academic strengths and weaknesses with specific recommendations for remediation as indicated

Students can make an appointment for help in any of these areas, or for personal counseling.

Student Development Course

St. Matthew’s University School of Medicine offers a 5-week course that guides all 1st semester students through skill-building and competency-enhancement practical sessions. This Student Development Course gives each student the basic elements required to be academically and professionally successful. For example, the SDC covers the following important areas:

  1. Interpersonal communication skills for medical professionals
  2. Developing Study Skill Competency in Medical Education
  3. Creating an Effective Study Schedule
  4. Peer Support & Study Groups
  5. Note Taking and Concept Mapping
  6. Examination Strategies & Preparation
  7. Stress Management & Healthy Living

Academic Development Workshops

All students interested in improving their academic performance may participate in Academic Development Workshops. These workshops focus on key skills required to be academically and professionally successful, including:

  1. Developing Study Skill Competency in Medical Education
  2. Peer Support & Study Groups
  3. Examination Strategies & Preparation
  4. Creating an Effective Study Schedule
  5. Note-Taking and Concept Mapping
  6. Stress Management & Healthy Living