Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine
Florida Atlantic University
777 Glades Road
Boca Raton, FL 33431
The College of Medicine uses an approach to student advising designed to provide longitudinal advising relationships - Academic Societies and Learning Communities. Coupled with the small class size, our advising system provides a unique opportunity for FAU students to maximize their personal and professional growth during their four years in the MD program.
The structure of the Academic Societies and Learning Communities results in each medical student having two dedicated faculty guides throughout their education, both of whom develop a deep understanding of the student's strengths, challenges and career goals. These faculty guides focus on the intellectual and professional growth and development of each student over time.
Each entering class is randomly divided among our two Societies, headed by our two Society Deans. The primary roles of the Society Deans are to assist students in career planning and development utilizing the AAMC Careers in Medicine program and to serve as a resource for all College of Medicine policies and procedures. Within each Society, students are again divided randomly among Learning Communities, which are led by an MD faculty advisor called a Learning Community Adviser (LCA).
The primary role of the LCA is to monitor and support learning (the student's academic and professional performance). LCAs monitor all aspects of academic performance and provide academic counseling for students at risk of failing an exam and/or course. LCAs address professional development by reviewing formative peer and faculty feedback and developing recommendations for improvement. LCAs are reviewers and coaches for learning portfolios, in which students track their achievement of specific professional competence goals that cut across competency domains.
Students meet regularly in small groups with their LCAs throughout Years 1 and 2 of medical school, in addition to individual meetings. With a longitudinal mentoring relationship, LCAs are uniquely positioned to help students with self-exploration and decision-making regarding specialty choices, residency and other post-graduate education.