Cooper Medical School of Rowan University (CMSRU) has implemented a comprehensive system of academic monitoring and advising. The CMSRU Advisory College Learning Communities system consists of faculty who serve as advisory college directors (ACD), career coaches, and subspecialty mentors, representing a variety of medical specialties. Each ACD is paired with individual students for the duration of matriculation and serves as a general career advisor. The colleges are named for noted physicians: Elizabeth Blackwell, Harvey Cushing, Benjamin Rush and William Osler. Each advisory college learning community has four advisors, including a senior director. The advisory college director (ACD) to whom the student is assigned will guide the student with their academic progress and career choices, in addition to supporting physical and mental wellness. Within the colleges, planned individual and group meetings and activities occur regularly.
First year students are paired with a student peer advisory liaison (PAL), a second year CMSRU student, who is also a member of the same advisory college learning community. As a part of the robust career advising system, career navigators are available to assist first and second year students with decisions regarding specialty career choice, as well directing them to research, networking opportunities, and other support, as appropriate. As students progress to the third and fourth years of the medical education program and have decided on a specialty, subspecialty advisors are available to provide the appropriate steps to prepare students to be residency competitive.
Each advisory college learning community creates and builds its own identity through their assigned students. The volunteer opportunities for which they choose to serve the community and the medical school, will be determined by the students, with the ACDs serving as a guide. The annual CMSRU Cup Challenge (points based challenge), includes scheduled activities and challenges (points based) occurring throughout the academic year, culminating in a friendly activities based competition between the colleges, providing bragging rights to the college who “wins” the College Cup.
The Careers in Medicine program (CiM®) of the Association of American Medical Colleges is an important resource CMSRU uses and is introduced to students in their first year. The advisory college directors will guide their advisees through the curriculum each year for optimal use of this important resource.
The Director of Students and the Administrative Director of the Advisory College Learning Communities play an active role with the CMSRU Advisory College Learning Communities in collaboration with the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and administrative support of the Advisory College Learning Communities and Wellness Program Specialist.