Department of Educational Services | St. George's University

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 Programs (SELP) Unit

Learn more at our Specialized English Language Programs (SELP) Unit page.

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.

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

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.

Leadership and Excellence in Academic Development (LEAD) Division in DES

We support learning, leadership, and innovation projects on our campuses to enhance the student learning experience. 

Our Mission is to promote an institutional culture that values effective teaching and meaningful learning. We collaborate with faculty, peer tutors, as well as academic and student support units to enhance teaching and learning in online and face-to-face settings.

Our services focus on developing a continuous improvement process for faculty and learning facilitators that is reflective and iterative in nature.  We know that teaching and learning are lifelong arts and our programming is designed to build capacity and foster innovation. 

Our Programs include:

  • Academic Development Programming for Faculty

We offer faculty regular learning opportunities each term.  Our workshops and communities of practice enable participants to learn at their own pace, receiving coaching and guidance from the LEAD team as well as from their peers.  All of our offerings stand-alone or can be used toward earning one of our Certificates in University Teaching & Learning.  Additionally, all programming is designed to suit teaching and learning in multiple modalities.

  • Small-Group Facilitator Training

We provide facilitation training to Clinical Tutors in the School of Medicine responsible for facilitating small groups, faculty members in each school, as well as SGU Peer Learning Facilitators and Tutors, upper-term students who lead small group sessions for their peers.

  • Supplemental Learning (SL)

Our SL faculty facilitate small group review sessions for undergraduate senior science students in Biochemistry, Human Anatomy, Molecular Biology, Microbiology, and Physiology.  SL sessions are aimed at helping students master course content by utilizing active learning techniques, enabling learners to develop skills essential to success in a variety of professional careers.

  • Technology for Online/Blended Learning

We evaluate technology that can help support both online and blended learning programs.  Some examples of technologies our Online Instructional Innovation (OII) unit has implemented and used throughout SGU include online (virtual) classrooms/conferencing (Zoom), and online proctored exams.  We leverage our expertise to enable programs across campus to successfully incorporate a variety of tools and technologies to support student success.

  • Individual and Group Consultations

We work by invitation with individuals and groups (such as Schools or departments) to support professional growth through coaching, observation & feedback on a range of teaching and learning issues.  We also provide support for faculty as they document their teaching and learning in professional portfolios.

  • Educational Leadership Development

We believe that every teacher is also a leader and are committed to enabling the development of leadership capacity at SGU.  We provide scaffolded opportunities for faculty to develop the expertise needed to serve their communities as they develop their own skills and abilities to serve the university communities.

  • Educational Research

We are committed to employing an evidence-based approach in all that we do.  We leverage and contribute to the rich body of research on effective teaching and learning and also provide support to faculty and staff interested in conducting their own research on teaching to make their own contributions to the literature.

Contact Us: DESLead@sgu.edu

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 preclinical program, becoming the first Caribbean institution outside of Puerto Rico to be recognized.

Faculty Listing

Department Of Educational Services Chair 
Dr. Sara Rabie | srabie@sgu.edu


Division of Leadership and Excellence in Academic Development
Dr. Tracy Penny Light, Director | tplight@sgu.edu

Dr. Laura Colket, Associate Director | lcolket@sgu.edu

Division of Academic Student Success Initiatives, Supports and Training
Dr. Joanne Buckland, Director of Learning Strategies Unit | jbucklan@sgu.edu

Dr. Allana Roach, Director of Academic Support Administration and Innovation unit | aroach1@sgu.edu

Ms. Kasey Larson, Director of Specialized English Language Programs Unit | klarson@sgu.edu

Administrative Assistant | Ms. Nichole John |njohn1@sgu.edu
Executive Secretary | Ms. Reba David-Andrew |rrdavid@sgu.edu
Secretaries | Ms. Salisha Felix, Ms. Shannon Donald |des@sgu.edu

Director
Ms. Kasey Larson
klarson@sgu.edu

Ms. Emily Harms
eharms@sgu.edu

Ms. Ariel Wildman
awildma3@sgu.edu

Mr. Breneil Malcolm
bmalcolm1@sgu.edu

Ms. Cassandra Leoni
cleoni@sgu.edu

Ms. Deborah Weinheimer
dweinhei@sgu.edu

Ms. Dorcina Noel
dnoel7@sgu.edu

Ms. Heather Brathwaite
hbrathwaite@sgu.edu

Ms. Jill Paterson
jpaterso@sgu.edu

Ms. Karina Daniel
kdanie1@sgu.edu

Ms. Marie Benjamin
mbenjam2@sgu.edu

Dr. Todd McKay
tmckay@sgu.edu

Ms. Zoë Hagley
zhagley@sgu.edu

Coordinator
Ms. Lisa Findley-Stroud
lfindley@sgu.edu

Ms. Shari Sinclair
ssincla1@sgu.edu

Dr. Tanya Edwards
TEdward2@sgu.edu

Director 
Dr. Joanne Buckland
SOM; SVM; CFP; SGS 

Dr. Alisa Alvis
SOM1; SOM2; SGS 

Dr. Alyson Reuben
SOM1; SOM2; CFP; MSAP

Ms. Chérisse Mahabir-Cletus
SAS; PostBac; PreClin Y1/Y2

Dr. Fomba Kanneh
SOM3/4; SOM5

Ms. Kiku Tupper
Premed Y3; Prevet Y3; CFP; SOM1

Dr. Lauren Orlando
SAS; Premed Y1/Y2; Prevet Y1/Y2

Dr. Marsha Nicholson-Ramdeen
SOM1; SOM2

Ms. Michele Woolley
SOM1; CFP; MSAP

Dr. Mondel George
SOM3/4; SOM5

Dr. Peter Slinger
SVM 1-2

Dr. Preniah Lafeuillee
SOM3/4; SVM 3-6

Ms. Renée Thomas
Premed Y3; Prevet Y3; CFP; SOM1; SOM3; MSAP

Dr. Roxann Lewis-Roberts
SOM3/4; SOM5

Dr. Shelby Wood
SOM1; SOM2

Dr. Oluwatosin Arubuolawe
SOM1; SOM2

SGU/NU, Northumbria campus

Mr. Stephen Boddy
SOM1; SOM2

Director
Dr. Allana Roach
aroach1@sgu.edu

Coordinator
Ms. Asha Lessey-Charles
alessey@sgu.edu

Coordinator
Mr. Kimanii Daniel
kdaniel5@sgu.edu

Ms. Bevalin Alexander
balexan1@sgu.edu

Ms. Golda Mahesh
gmahesh@sgu.edu

Ms. Jutta Sylvester
jsylves3@sgu.edu

Ms. Tandy James
tjames4@sgu.edu

Ms. Crystal De Riggs
Cderiggs3@sgu.edu

Coordinator
Mr. Jonathan Modica
jmodica@sgu.edu

Coordinator
Mr. John Swope
jswope@sgu.edu

Ms. Donna Walker
dwalker3@sgu.edu

Mr. Kimon Sandy
ksandy1@sgu.edu

Director
Dr. Tracy Penny Light
tplight@sgu.edu

Associate Director
Dr. Laura Colket
lcolket@sgu.edu

Instructor
Dr. Kristi Kaeppel

Director
Dr. Laura Colket
lcolket@sgu.edu

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