Student Affairs is that department in the College of Nursing that doesn’t teach any classes but really is the glue that holds the students and faculty together. Their primary mission is to keep all of the students in the College of Nursing on track to graduate. This includes not only undergraduates but also students working for Master or Doctorate degrees.
Asst. Dean Jessica Boisclair and her team on the second floor of White Hall are always there to answer any questions or help solve any problem a student might have either academic or personal. They are also in charge of running various events for the College of Nursing like the White Coat Ceremony and Pinning Ceremony. In addition, they are also the face of the University to prospective students and their parents at Open Houses, Welcome Days and Admission events. They recruit and train Nursing Ambassadors who help at these events. If the College of Nursing were compared to one of URI sports teams, they are the coaches that get the players. Overseeing all the Student and Academic Affairs Office is Associate Dean Pat Burbank who is also always available to help with students and faculty issues.
In addition to Asst. Dean Boisclair, the team consists of: Jessica Skaltsis who handles Clinical Placement for 500 undergraduate and 100 graduate students; Jennifer Castro a Graduate Assistant who is in charge of the online program that enables RN’s to earn a BS in Nursing while still working and Michaela Delaney the academic advisor to freshmen and sophomores. With the help of Student Affairs Assistant, Cassie White, who runs the office, they track the academic progress of each student. They also hire the graduate assistants on a per course basis as well as determine class sizes and faculty placement.
Another task for the Office is overseeing the Scholastic Standing Committee which determines which freshmen are eligible for entry into the College of Nursing’s Introduction to Nursing 203 by having completed the required courses in science and maintained the prescribed grade point average. Any student who has an appeal about acceptance can present their position to this committee.
Throughout the year, academic advice is given on courses, clinical placements, careers, specializations, etc. This is a process that never stops while a student is enrolled in the College of Nursing. There is constant communication to help organize and support both undergraduate and graduate students.
Student Affairs also runs the Boot Camp for Nursing and arranges for tutors when necessary. All of the undergraduate students live in the tower at Hillside and have a Resident Academic Mentor (RAM) who provides different programs related to nursing. The entire Student Affairs team is constantly supporting the faculty and helping the students in every aspect of student life.
The final departmental task is the placement of graduates in the workplace. Their continuing success in this final endeavor is a testament to the quality of students graduating from the College of Nursing and the effectiveness of the Student Affairs Department.