Ross University Blog

Q&A: What Can the Student Affairs Department Do for You?

March 23, 2016

Paula Wales and Bryan Hayse
Paula Wales, EdD (above, left), senior associate dean of academic and student affairs, and Bryan Hayse, associate dean of student affairs

If there’s one thing that students at Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) need to know it’s this: if you’re having any kind of trouble, personal or academic, the Student Affairs department is here to help. Paula Wales, EdD, senior associate dean of academic and student affairs recently sat down with Bryan Hayse, EdD, associate dean of student affairs, Dominica campus, to talk about the types of issues students may face and how they can get help. Here is an excerpt from that conversation:

Hayse: Every semester I have a person who seeks us out a little too late, and says, ‘I didn’t know there was anything that could be done.’ Don’t wait until a problem escalates – early intervention is key. 

Wales: As soon as anything goes wrong, come talk to us and we’ll try to help you. Do not lose the opportunity for early intervention. If you don’t know the answer, come to us and we’ll find out. Can I take a leave? When do I have to apply to take the USMLE® Step 1? Bring us any kind of problem or concern before it gets out of hand.

Hayes: We can assist you with housing concerns, immigration issues, student insurance, financial aid, just to name a few areas.. When there’s a tragedy, for example a death in the family, and the student is not handling it well, we may refer him or her to our counseling center.

Wales: If the student is struggling academically, and maybe failed the first mini exam, and is not sure of the options available, we can help identify where to start. We can also talk to the faculty on their behalf about coursework and grades. Sometimes medical students think they’re too busy to get help. All they need to do is take a moment and contact Student Affairs. They will be directed to the right person.

Hayes: We’re not going to solve all your problems but we have a wide range of resources for you, like the Center for Teaching and Learning, a specific faculty member,  the Health Center, and if needed, accommodations for disabilities.

Wales: It’s hard for medical students to seek help. They’ve done well and people look up to them. But then the first time grandma gets sick or they fail an exam it hits them really hard. Sometimes they dig in and think they can handle it on their own. Remember, there are very few things we haven’t seen. We might be able to get you a leave of absence. We can help you solve problems.

Hayes: Students need to understand that everyone struggles at some point along the way. It’s ok to reach out. Remember, the longer you go before getting help, the fewer options remain.

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Tags: Students , Academics

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