Learning communities first gained traction in high schools and undergraduate institutions in the 1990s. More recently, the model has been adapted to graduate education, including medical education. ESFCOM has embraced the national effort to enhance advising and guidance to medical students with their student-centered model.
The benefit will be to enhance the student’s holistic medical school experience by supplementing the academic or curricular side with the non-academic or co-curricular side. Both elements will ultimately provide a fuller, richer experience that will address student well-being, personal growth and identity, social connectedness, career advising, and have the potential to provide future physicians who are equipped for the challenges and opportunities of the rapidly evolving health care environment.
The role of the Learning Communities is to provides student life advising, wellness programming that includes fitness and nutrition, social connectedness, resiliency, professional identity and career advising to approach master learning status and enable students to thrive academically and personally throughout their medical school experience.
The Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine has designed four distinct Learning Communities to coincide with the geographic location of your clinical campuses around the state. Each community will contain 15 students in the first year, and add additional students with each incoming class to provide vertical integration and peer-to-peer learning. Within each community, the Student Affairs Support Leadership Team will oversee a team of Mentors. A Physician – led Learning Community Mentor (LCM) who will share their own professional journey and wisdom partnering and collaborating with a Co Learning Community Mentor (Co-LCM) who as a physician or non-physician will add real-life experiences, social connectedness from a broad-range of perspectives. The partnership will provide co-curricular (non-academic) support throughout the first two years, and perhaps beyond.
The following depicts a graphic display of the communities and their connection to the student and mentor.