Preclinical Sciences makes up the first two years of the MD program at American University of Antigua (AUA) College of Medicine. It lays the foundation and sets the tone for every piece of knowledge that students will acquire, draw from, and expand upon throughout their medical educations and careers.
As a US-modeled institution, AUA College of Medicine maintains high expectations and challenges itself to innovate. AUA’s faculty, administration, and Education Enhancement Department (EED) have designed a curriculum that stays true to its vision of an MD program free of stale, lecture-based formats. Our MD program is highly-individualized and interactive.
At other medical schools, students are often forced to contend with overflowing lectures that number in the hundreds of students, professors who know them as little more than names in a roll book, and a style of instruction based on rote learning. Fortunately, AUA has always managed to avoid these issues but as a school dedicated to continually raising its standards, we took a major step forward by creating the Homeroom Concept.
The Homeroom Concept
Students are assigned to a homeroom of 20 students, this breaks into two small study groups of 10 and guided by a faculty facilitator, which keeps our student to faculty ratio 10:1 for Semester 1, and 20:1 Semester 2. Two of these small study groups are assigned a permanent classroom or “Homeroom” that serves as an academic base of operations. Four homerooms come together as a College for large group activities, such as lectures, and Team Based Learning. Each Homeroom is fully-equipped with every digital tool necessary to access learning resources. By studying and learning in Homerooms and attending activities together in our state-of-the-art Simulation Lab, students develop strong bonds that encourage them to challenge and support one another as they get closer to earning their medical degrees.
Learning As a Two-Way Street
With a permanent home in a small-group setting on the AUA campus, every student learns in a highly personalized study environment. They work one-to-one with their faculty facilitators who can adjust their methods of instruction to suit individual learning styles. Students and facilitators form academic relationships that are more cohesive than they would be in a larger, superficial setting and become more invested in each other’s success.