Department of Educational Services

The Department of Educational Services (DES) plays a key role in supporting all students and faculty at SGU, and the academic and professional success of all our students is our primary goal.

Comprised of many dedicated academic professionals, DES’s unique and highly effective faculty is the largest on campus. Close to 100 percent of the University’s students and many of the professors in all schools avail themselves of the support offered through the department’s innovative programs, including time management, note-taking skills, and utilizing technology effectively in teaching and learning, as well as individualized programs with training in reading efficiency and comprehension, writing, oral communication, pronunciation, and grammatical accuracy. Most fundamentally, DES assists students individually and in groups as they prepare for course and licensure examinations.

DES is a central and established part of the academic culture at SGU, and the department works closely with all schools and programs, as well as with the Dean of Students Office, to provide custom-tailored support regarding academic and non-academic issues. DES also offers a faculty development program designed to support faculty in their pursuit of excellence in scholarship, teaching and learning with seminars and workshops in new and evolving methods of instruction.

Programs for Students and Faculty

The Specialized English Language Program (SELP)

THE SPECIALIZED ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROGRAM (SELP)

The Specialized English Language Program (SELP) offers classes and workshops as well as individualized programs focusing on reading efficiency and comprehension, writing, oral communication, pronunciation, and grammatical accuracy. Additionally, the program offers an English Medical Communications Skills course.

English Medical Communication Skills Course

This selective is a 6-credit, seven-hour-per-week English course comprised of the four skill-specific Term 1 classes and one individual weekly tutorial described below. These classes are designed to support first-term veterinary medical and medical students with their coursework and to provide students with the opportunity to develop communication skills that will help them in their clinical rotations and in their future medical careers. Two classes in the course are group specific. The Interviewing class is designed specifically for medical students and the Veterinary Communication class is designed specifically for veterinary medical students.

Skill-Specific Classes

The individual classes that comprise the Term 1 English Medical Communication Skills Course can also be taken by any students interested in improving a specific English skill. In addition, based on results of the diagnostic tests, some students may be placed into one or more of these individual classes to meet admission criteria. The SELP program also offers a communication class designed specifically for Term 2 medical students. The current SELP class offerings for Term 1 and 2 students are described below.

Term One Workshops (SOM and SVM)

The first week of English classes comprises several workshops designed to provide students who will be taking any SELP class with an introduction to important skills which are further developed in several of our classes. These workshops are open to any interested individuals.

Email Workshop 

This workshop introduces students to some of the basic guidelines for writing professional and informal correspondence by email. Email protocol and the expression of tone through email is analyzed and discussed.

Research Workshop

This workshop is presented in conjunction with the Basic Science Foundation (BSF) computer workshop. The BSF workshop introduces students to the research resources available to them on the Internet. This SELP segment of the workshop provides practice in selecting appropriate search terms and procedures for a wide range of Internet resources. Evaluation of the quality and usefulness of sample sources is discussed.

Presentation Skills Workshop

In this workshop, students analyze presentations in terms of the appropriateness of content for a specific audience and the effectiveness of the presenter’s skills. Basic presentation skills are summarized and students are provided with the opportunity to give a brief presentation and discuss and analyze strengths and weaknesses of the presentations of peers.

Study Skills Workshop

This workshop is presented in conjunction with the Testing and Study Skills Coordinator in DES. A survey of different ways of dealing with the medical course load is discussed, with attention given to the specific difficulties faced when dealing with an extensive amount of reading in a second language.

Test-Taking Skills Workshop

This workshop is presented in conjunction with the testing and Study Skills Coordinator in DES. In this workshop students are introduced to test-taking techniques that can enhance performance on multiple choice tests. In addition, the terms, phrases, and structures of multiple choice tests are examined.

Term One Classes (SOM and SVM)

Formal Communication in the Medical Context

This is an integrated skills task-based class in which students examine and perform a wide range of authentic tasks requiring communication in a formal register. Some of the tasks performed include reading research articles for specific content, giving formal presentations, engaging in professional discussions, and writing formal reports and correspondence.

Informal Communication in the Medical Context

This is an integrated skills task-based class in which students examine and perform a wide range of authentic tasks requiring communication in an informal register. Some of the tasks performed include explaining diseases and procedures to patients, presenting to lay audiences, and writing informal email.

Medical Terminology

This class is designed to help students build their medical vocabulary easily and quickly. It also helps them to interpret medical terms as they are used in medical practice. Finally, it familiarizes them with a range of colloquial vocabulary which they are likely to encounter when speaking to patients.

Communication for the Interview (Medical Students)

This class is designed to introduce students to the medical interview and to help them develop their interviewing skills, specifically in the medical context. These skills are applied in practical ways including the interviewing of simulated patients. Students have the opportunity to review, discuss, and evaluate these interactions.

Veterinary Communication (Veterinary Medical Students)

This class has been specifically designed for veterinary medical students. It replaces the interviewing class taken by medical students. This is an integrated skills task-based class in which students examine and perform a wide range of communication activities required in the veterinary medicine context.

Individual Grammar/Pronunciation Tutorials

Each student enrolled in any of our classes will also be scheduled to do a one hour weekly individual tutorial. This tutorial is designed to give the student and the instructor an opportunity to meet to ensure that feedback on individual assignments is understood and can be incorporated into future work. It also allows students to receive personalized attention and to work on specific grammar or pronunciation problems. Individualized feedback is the mainstay of developing language skills to a high level of proficiency.

Term Two Classes (SVM)

Medical Communication Skills

This class is designed to enhance a variety of skills necessary for students’ success in the clinical years, as well as in their careers as physicians. In addition to a variety of class activities designed to provide students with the opportunity to develop a full range of communication skills such as pronunciation/enunciation, speaking, writing, reading, and listening, in a wide range of medical contexts. Students have the opportunity to practice these communication skills with simulated patients.

Individual Tutoring Sessions

Premedical Classes

These classes include supplemental language-focused tutorials for several premedical courses such as Introduction to College Writing, Advanced College Writing and Abnormal Psychology; skills-development courses; and workshops to address weaknesses often faced on standardized examinations. The SELP instructors also provide individual tutoring to premedical students, in order to improve their oral communication, reading, writing or grammar skills.

Individual Assistance and Tutorials

Assistance from the SELP instructors is always available. They will meet individually with any student or faculty member, native speaker or non-native speaker of English, to work on any English language skill such as letter writing, resume writing, presentation skills, pronunciation, or reading comprehension.

The Supplemental Learning (SL) Program

SUPPLEMENTAL LEARNING (SL)

The Supplemental Learning (SL) Program runs weekly small group review sessions, hosts an assortment of on-line modules and small group facilitator training workshops to facilitators and Clinical Tutors, and provides general support to SGU’s collaborative learning community.

Supplemental Learning small groups are provided for pre-professional and undergraduate students who want to deepen their understanding of course material, improve long-term learning, and improve their grades in large sized pre-professional courses that are traditionally most rigorous. The program is designed to assist students by developing learning communities, integrating study strategies, and applying effective test-taking skills.

The Supplemental Learning Program schedule is announced in class during the first week of classes each term.  Students are allocated to groups depending on their program and course schedule.  The SL faculty attend classes along with the students and frequently make announcements regarding the schedule and examination reviews.

Collaborative learning in small groups is a practice that has gained increased popularity at SGU.  Small group collaborative learning is supported by numerous studies and by positive student feedback at SGU.  In order to ensure excellent well-run small groups, DES offers several SAKAI training modules for Facilitators located at the True Blue and Northumbria campuses.

SL Small Group Facilitator Training Program

Collaborative learning in small groups is a practice that has gained increased popularity at SGU.  Small group collaborative learning is supported by numerous studies and by positive student feedback at SGU.  In order to ensure excellent well-run small groups, DES offers several SAKAI training modules for Facilitators located at the True Blue and Northumbria campuses.

The objective of conducting this training is to:

  • Help facilitators make their sessions more efficient and effective.
  • Anticipate collaborative learning issues and proactively resolve them.
  • Make sessions enjoyable and creative for all participants.

The Supplemental Learning (SL) Program focuses on the techniques surrounding the facilitation of the group review sessions. We also train small group observers and visit groups to see how they are doing and give constructive advice.

Small Group Facilitation Workshops for New Clinical Tutors and DES Facilitators

The SL program conducts several hands-on training workshops for DES Facilitators and Clinical Tutors each term.  These sessions are designed to compliment the above training modules.  They are an opportunity for new facilitators and clinical tutors to practice working in small groups.  They also help facilitators to brainstorm, reflect and plan their upcoming sessions together with awarded returning facilitators, other clinical tutors, SL faculty, and their peers.

The Academic Enhancement Program (AEP)

ACADEMIC ENHANCEMENT PROGRAM (AEP)

The Academic Enhancement Program (AEP) is a support program for selected students in their first year in the School of Medicine or School of Veterinary Medicine. This retention initiative includes review group sessions, personal advising, and access to other DES programs as needed.

AEP is a proactive support initiative that includes review group sessions, personal advising, and access to other DES programs as needed. Students are placed into the program by the Board of Admissions for a variety of reasons, including being out of school for an extended period of time prior to beginning medical school, lower MCAT scores or lower science GPA or lack of experience with multiple choice exams. The program provides the student with additional guidance and resources during their first year of medical or veterinary medical school.  Students are enrolled in the regular, full academic program in medical or veterinary medical school, but are mandated to participate in additional learning activities.

AEP Orientation

On the first day of Academic Orientation in Grenada, AEP students will attend an AEP Orientation meeting where details regarding the program are outlined. Any questions about AEP will be addressed in detail at that time. Information about the date, time, and location of the meeting will be provided on the AEP Orientaiton schedule and via student email for those who are registered in the program.  Information can also be obtained from the Department of Educational Services

AEP Faculty Advisor

AEP students must meet with their Faculty Advisor after midterm examinations, and at other times as scheduled throughout the term.

Group Review Attendance

Students must attend one AEP review session (restricted to AEP students only) and one DES review session (open to all students) per week.

Group Review Sessions

DES Group Review Sessions  provide learning opportunities for all students. As outlined above, attendance at Group Review Sessions is mandatory for students enrolled in the AEP program; for all other students, attendance is optional. DES offers over 150 Term One group review sessions a week, meeting over 2000 sessions per term.

The DES Student Support Academic Office (SSAO) recruits and selects group review session facilitators and tutors. All applicants for these positions must have completed the course at SGU with an A or B grade, and have a good overall GPA.

Learning Strategies Program

LEARNING STRATEGIES PROGRAM

The DES Learning Skills Program was designed to provide all students with the opportunity to evaluate and improve their academic skills, becoming more efficient and effective learners. Common issues include: Time ManagementTest Taking SkillsFocusStress and Anxiety Management, and Taking/Making Notes.

Individual consultation, workshops, lectures, and presentations are arranged to address such topics as:

  • Practical application of study methods to specific academic curricula in order to develop new study skills and techniques.
  • Learning styles assessment and application, including memory techniques.
  • Time management strategies to keep up with coursework.
  • Test-taking strategies for multiple choice questions (MCQ) in order to improve test preparation and performance skills.

Time Management Assistance

Time management is an essential element for all students who want to attain their highest level of academic success. Students can receive information on how to create a realistic schedule that includes not only time for studies, but also the important daily needs necessary for creating a balanced student life. (Yes, there really can be time to eat, sleep, and have a little fun.)

Multiple Choice Question Assistance

Students are offered an opportunity to improve their overall test-taking skills through workshops and/or individual meetings. These meetings address ways to prepare for MCQ exams as well as techniques to use during the exams. It is hypothesized that good test-taking skills can improve exam scores from 5 to 15 percent.

Faculty Development

FACULTY DEVELOPMENT

MISSION: To support faculty in their pursuit of excellence in scholarship, teaching and learning.

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Basics and Beyond: Certificate Program in University Teaching

SGU is a Learning Community. Teaching is a central role for all faculty; student learning is a primary goal of the University.

In keeping with SGU’s mandate and vision, the certificate program, offered by the Department of Educational Services (DES), is designed to help academics develop a scholarly approach to their work as they engage in conversations and practical applications of evidence-based pedagogy for course design, assessment practices and teaching and learning strategies.

The Program consists of three certificate level courses:

  1. Scholarly Foundations in Teaching and Learning—Level 1 Certificate
  2. Research in Teaching and Learning—Level 2 Certificate
  3. Leadership in Teaching and Learning—Level 3 Certificate
SCHOLARLY FOUNDATIONS IN TEACHING AND LEARNING—LEVEL 1 CERTIFICATE

4 sessions + 4 electives

Planning Your Class for Active Learning
Aligning Learning Outcomes/Learning Activities/Assessment
Approaches to Teachign that Enhance Students’ Approaches to Learning
Assessment for Learning
RESEARCH IN TEACHING AND LEARNING—LEVEL 2 CERTIFICATE

4 sessions + 4 electives + completion of Level 1

Being a Mindful Practitioner: The Heart of Scholarly Teaching
Research Methods for Teaching and Learning Projects
Research Ethics for Classroom Research
Publishing Your Research on Teaching and Learning
LEADERSHIP IN TEACHING AND LEARNING—LEVEL 3 CERTIFICATE

4 sessions + 4 electives + completion of Levels 1 and 2

Leading Curriculum Change Initiatives
Leading Through Coaching and Mentoring
Distributing Leadership in Teaching and Learning
Communities of Practice

The certificate program provides:

  • continuing professional development
  • an individual Professional Development Path
  • a flexible timeline
  • a path to achieve a Certificate as part of a Professional Teaching Portfolio
  • an opportunity for members of the SGU community to lead sessions

Teaching activities, and student learning are primary roles for university faculty, however, most academics begin their teaching career with expertise in their content area but little or no prior opportunity to ‘think’ about how students learn.

Whether new to teaching or experienced faculty, most have had limited opportunities to systematically develop their teaching abilities, build a scholarly knowledge base about teaching and reflect on how the various elements of their teaching practices fit together.

The Basics and Beyond Certificate Program in University Teaching Certificate is designed to provide such opportunities.

Each session in the program is designed to be practical, encouraging academics to apply what they are presently learning to their work as teachers to support student learning.

The Basics and Beyond Program was developed as an outcome-based series of experiences that:

  • are informed by the focus groups conducted with faculty at SGU from March–June 2017
  • will continue to be informed by feedback provided throughout the program
  • is guided by the theoretical and empirical literature regarding teaching and learning;
  • are informed by research into certificate programs at other international universities including Canada, the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom
  • are consistent with the best practices of the international educational development profession

For further information about the program and to register for sessions, please contact Ms. Reba David at rrdavid@sgu.edu or download the brochure.

Award-Winning Academic Support Programs

DES programs at SGU have been selected as award winners by the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA), a US-based international organization that represents more than 11,000 members from all 50 United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, and many other countries. Members include faculty, advisors, counselors, administrators, and students – all working to promote and support the educational and academic development of students.

St. George’s University has been awarded the Outstanding Institutional Advising Program Certificate of Merit Award by NACADA three times:

  • In 2015, when SGU’s Academic Enhancement Program (AEP) was awarded by NACADA for its innovative advising and academic support program.
  • In 2011, when NACADA acknowledged SGU’s Supplemental Learning Program for its efforts connected to collaborative learning.
  • In 2003, for the School of Medicine premedical program, becoming the first Caribbean institution outside of Puerto Rico to be recognized.

Faculty Listing

Administration

Vice Provost, Educational Services
Professor and Chair, Department of Educational Services 

Dr. Glen Jacobs
gjacobs@sgu.edu

Director of Student Support and Development
Dr. Sara Rabie
srabie@sgu.edu

Specialized English Language Program

Coordinator
Ms. Amy Goodman-Bide
agoodma2@sgu.edu

Ms. Emily Harms
eharms@sgu.edu

Ms. Halina Stolar
hstolar@sgu.edu

Ms. Heather Brathwaite
hbrathwaite@sgu.edu

Ms. Jill Paterson
jpaterso@sgu.edu

Ms. Karina Daniel
kdanie1@sgu.edu

Professional Supplemental Learning Program

Ms. Atom Abdullah
aabudulla@sgu.edu

Dr. Elias Abdullah
eabdullah@sgu.edu

Ms. Lisa Findley
lfindley@sgu.edu

IAP Support

Coordinator
Ms. Alisa Alvis
aalvis@sgu.edu

Dr. Marsha Nicholson
Mnichol3@sgu.edu

Dr. Roxann Lewis-Roberts
rlewisrob@sgu.edu

Learning Strategists

Coordinator
Ms. Joanne Buckland
SOM1, SOM 2, SOM 3, SOM 4, SOM 5, FTV, CFP

Ms. Emily Harms
MPH

Ms. Lauren Orlando
SAS, SVM, FTV, PreVet, PreMed

Dr. Peter Slinger
SOM1, SVM1

Ms. Michele Woolley
Prevet, Premed, Post Bac, CFP, SOM 3 & MSAP, SOM 1

Dr. Allana Roach
SOM 2, SOM 1, MEd., Graduate Studies 

Dr. Mondel George
SOM Term 4, SOM 5, SOM 2, SOM 1

Ms. Andrea Blair
SOM 1, SOM 2, SAS 

Dr. Shanelle De Lancy
SOM 1, SOM 2

Student Support Administrative Office

Office Manager
Ms. Donella Telesford
dtelesf1@sgu.edu

Ms. Anitha Tokala
atokala@sgu.edu

Ms. Bevalin Alexander
balexan1@sgu.edu

Ms. Golda Mahesh
gmahesh@sgu.edu

Ms. Karina Daniel
kdanie1@sgu.edu

Ms. Karla Hood
khood@sgu.edu

Ms. Nicole Del Busto
Email: ndelbust@sgu.edu

Ms. Tandy James
Email: tjames4@sgu.edu

Administrative Assistant
Ms. Nichole John
Email: njohn1@sgu.edu

Executive Secretary
Ms. Reba David-Andrew
rrdavid@sgu.edu

Secretary
Ms. Shannon Donald
sdonald@sgu.edu