Learning Services

Promoting a Whole Community Model for Learning Support

Healthy students who feel welcome, safe and possess skills for effective learning are better able to concentrate on their work, attend classes and perform well in class and on tests and succeed in or gain entry into their chosen professional program of study.  Despite such research findings, discussions about improving student learning occur separately from the role of colleges in addressing health and safety concerns.  A whole community model to addressing students’ health and learning needs can become one of the means to meet a shared outcome:  productive and successful students.  A whole community model offered at each college can effectively address students’ health and academic needs; thereby improving their ability to learn consists of six components.  Each component contributes in unique ways, yet overlaps with all components in other ways.  What is new about this model is not the individual components (many colleges already have most in place) but their quality, sophistication and coordination with available campus resources such as the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Student Learning Services.  When all components are combined at each college, gaps are identified, resources are employed and colleges offer a whole community model for optimal student learning.



Based on community feedback and student need, the Health Sciences learning support specialists facilitate campus wide community workshops to better assist health science students as they navigate their academic journey. Workshops offer hands-on practice and resources to support student success.


  • Undergraduate Workshops offered:
  • Key Study Strategies & Time Management
  • Notetaking & Organization
  • Test Taking & Stress Management
  • MD Application & Personal Statements 101
  • Health Science Exam Prep 101
  • MCAT Bootcamp
  • PCAT Bootcamp
  • GRE Bootcamp


Health Sciences Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion learning specialists work with many pre-health students seeking support and resources in directing their way to their future healthcare professions.  Due to the high demand, learning specialists facilitate a series of MCAT boot camps each semester for students preparing for their MCAT exam. A newer addition to the bootcamps is a GRE Bootcamp. Both of these series are offered in the fall and spring semesters. The boot camps assimilate the technical aspects the exam and offers strategies and practice to help navigate the different sections. This year, all of the bootcamps were facilitated virtually, which seemed to elicit greater student participation than previous years in person sessions.


MED 493 Pre-Health Experiential Learning: Co-instructed by the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion’s learning specialists, this 3-unit course provides students the opportunity to gain clinical shadowing experience in addition to participating in weekly class discussions that range from clinical expertise to privilege and bias within the health care system. This course is offered to students interested in entering the four health science colleges and prepares them for their next steps into health care. Students are placed in Banner affiliated sites and shadowed in specialties ranging from nursing, surgery, family medicine, neurology, ob/gyn, psychiatry, cardiology and pediatrics.  

There were over 150 applications for the course in the 2022-2023 academic year with a total of 27 students enrolled in both the fall and spring semesters.


  • Dr. Carlos Gonzales Family Medicine and Working with Diverse Populations
  • Health Science Panel: Dr. Melissa Goldsmith (nursing), Dr. Jeanie Lee (pharmacy), Dr. Lukas Tvedt (physical therapy) and Martin Brandt (PA)
  • Agnes Attakai: Health Disparities
  • Jared Alvarado & Kat Alvarado: Willed Bodies Program
  • Emily Leyva: Admissions
  • Mona Lopez: PMAP
  • Patrick Bryan: True Cost of medical school
  •  Yamne Callejas: Financial Aid
  • Shad Smith: Think Tank/MCAT Prep
  • Medical Student Panel: Kambrea G. Soltero, Adam Carl, Czarina Retana, Reynaldo David Contreras