Academic Advising and Learning Resources

The John B. Drahmann Academic Advising and Learning Resources Center coordinates academic support services for undergraduate students. University advisors in the Drahmann Center work closely with faculty and staff in the Residential Learning Communities, the academic deans’ offices, the Cowell Center, the Career Center, the Office for Multicultural Learning, the Center for Student Involvement, and the Office of Student Life to ensure that academic advising and other academic support services are integrated for the benefit of students.

Santa Clara University follows a developmental advising model based on a close student-faculty advisor relationship intended to assist students with achieving their educational, career, and personal goals through the use of the full range of institutional resources. The Drahmann Center offers training for faculty advisors through new faculty advisor workshops and ongoing training to keep faculty advisors current on University policies and available resources. The Center also collaborates with other areas to enhance advising support for all students, such as providing technology support for the peer advising program in the School of Business.

The Drahmann Learning Resources Center offers drop-in group tutoring as well as individual tutoring appointments. Consultations and workshops on learning strategies, study skills, and time management provide students with additional support tailored to their specific needs. The Center also provides advising outreach for first-year and undeclared students and collaborates with the LEAD Scholars Program to ensure that first-generation college students are fully informed about the range of support services available to all students.

Pre-Health Sciences Advising

Santa Clara University has an excellent reputation for preparing students for careers in the health sciences. Most incoming students tend to be focused on either allopathic medicine or dentistry, but a much broader spectrum of careers can be equally or more attractive, including osteopathic medicine, physical therapy, optometry, pharmacy, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, public health professional, and others. A Santa Clara education provides ample opportunity to acquire the academic foundations in natural science required by medical schools, and its broad liberal arts Core Curriculum also serves to develop the communication, personal interaction, and analytical skills needed both during medical school and in one’s subsequent medical practice.

Although Santa Clara does not have a premed major, the courses prescribed by the Council of Education of the American Medical Association can be incorporated into several academic majors. In addition, many students become more skilled and competitive by enrolling in two or three upper-division science courses, often but not exclusively in biochemistry, genetics, and human physiology, which are helpful in preparing for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). The combination of Core Curriculum requirements with the University’s focus on community involvement and issues of diversity will prepare students well for the MCAT 2015, with its greater emphasis on social, economic, and psychological determinants of health. Students should visit the Pre-Health Advising website and maintain regular contact with the pre-health sciences advisor throughout their undergraduate years for assistance with adjusting to college academic rigor and social life; developing an appreciation of the wide array of available health care careers; achieving balance between academics, social life, work, health community volunteering, and internships; selecting relevant entrance examinations; and applying to graduate health-science programs.

Pre-Law Advising

Santa Clara University provides a wide range of opportunities for undergraduates to build a strong pre-law foundation. Early in their undergraduate program, pre-law students should consult not only with their major advisor but also with one of the designated pre-law advisors. Consultation with a pre-law advisor familiarizes the student with the rigors of law school, the practice of law, the burden of law school debt, and the means to best secure employment as an attorney. Advisors will help formulate a program to prepare students for the complexity of the application process, including preparation for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). There is no specific major or curriculum required to qualify for law school admission. Successful law school applicants come from a diversity of majors, such as anthropology, philosophy, communication, political science, physics, English, history, biology, and economics. However, to successfully prepare for the LSAT, students are advised to select courses that deepen reading comprehension and promote logical reasoning. Law school admissions officers generally recommend undergraduate preparation by selecting a major that demands discipline, analytical ability, research skills, close reading of texts, creativity, verbal skills, and precision in written and oral work. The departments of philosophy and political science offer a pre-law emphasis within the major (in philosophy, it is also available within the minor). Elective courses also provide valuable training and breadth of academic and analytical experience. Some elective courses strengthen specific abilities, while others provide perspective on legal issues and topics. Recommended electives are located on the website.

Pre-Teaching Advising

Santa Clara University is accredited by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing to offer professional preparation for prospective elementary school, middle school, and senior high school teachers. The Department of Education in the School of Education and Counseling Psychology offers graduate programs for the multiple-subject credential for elementary grades and the single-subject credential for secondary grades, both with a cross-cultural language and academic development emphasis. The teaching credential program at SCU is combined with a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree. Students interested in teaching should consider completing an interdisciplinary minor in urban education offered through the College of Arts and Sciences.

The Future Teachers Project (FTP), formerly known as the Eastside Future Teachers Project, works with students from traditionally underrepresented groups throughout Silicon Valley and the greater Bay Area, who are interested in becoming teachers. Through innovative outreach and support programs, the goal is to develop leaders who will make an immediate impact on their communities. FTP scholars are generally recruited during high school and once at SCU, are considered for the FTP scholarship, which contributes to undergraduate studies and the credential/MAT program. The FTP is managed through the Child Studies Program.

For more information, see Chapter 3, Child Studies Program.