Monday, November 16, 2009

Director’s Corner

In my last article I shared some ideas for coping with the workload in the MA program. Today, I would like to build on this and elaborate on the specific mechanisms we have in place to support you on the academic side of the house.

When you find you need additional help beyond the classroom, your first line of defense should be your instructors. All of your instructors are dedicated to your success and are happy to meet with you outside of class. Because many of your instructors are also teaching in the full-time MBA Program, I recommend that you schedule a time to meet with them. Furthermore, in addition to meeting with your instructors individually, most if not all are more than willing to schedule review sessions if you ask.

Another key support mechanism is your study team. We deliberately develop the study teams in a way that balances the skills within each team. You should never hesitate to ask a teammate for help. In fact, it is likely that being helped by a teammate benefits your teammate as much if not more than it benefits you. Without a doubt, the best way to master something is to teach it to someone else.

A third support mechanism is our Student Affairs team. As many of you already know, our Student Affairs team can advise you on all the resources that are available to support you. Whether the issue is as simple as finding a tutor to something as complex as getting advice on strategies to deal with a learning disability our Student Affairs team is equipped to direct you to the resources that are available. For example, Student Affairs maintains a list of tutors for each course in the MA Program. We also may be able to help with the cost of obtaining a tutor for students in financial need. Finally, while on the topic of tutors I should point out that I generally recommend you first utilize your instructors and study teams and rely on tutors as a last resort.

As you all now know, the MA Program is a rigorous and challenging program. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you are struggling, I encourage you to proactively take full advantage of the mechanisms that we have put in place to support you. And the earlier you seek help, the better positioned we are to assist you. Finally, I welcome your suggestions for additional services we can provide to better support you.

~Scott Shafer

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