At Sutherland-Chan we pride ourselves in providing an excellent all-around massage therapy education and in maintaining a high standard in our courses and clinics, so we also do our best to assist our students to succeed. Our administrative team includes two positions, the Student Services Coordinator and the Education Services Coordinator, that are designated for working with student support needs and being of assistance to students wherever possible.
We have the following services in place for students, all of which are included in your student services fee (no additional costs apply):
- Practice Clinic
- Science Subject Tutoring “Cirque de Science”
- Study Skills
- Counseling Service
- Special Needs Support
- Emergency Response Team (ERT)
- Class Rep System
- Evaluations and Focus Groups
Practice Clinic provides students struggling with practical or technical skills an opportunity to work with an instructor outside of regular classroom hours. These sessions are done on a one-to-one basis or in small groups. The Practice Clinic schedule is posted by the Student Services Coordinator, Matthew Chu, in various locations around the school. There is no cost to the student. A student may be referred to Practice Clinic by an instructor, but also has the option to self refer.
Science Subject Tutoring “Cirque de Science”
We also offer a tutoring service twice a week that is focused on more academic subjects. These are excellent sessions for students who need further instruction on a particular topic, need to clarify subject matter learned in a particular course, want to review material, or are seeking help preparing for a test. These sessions are run by one of our instructors, Erin McNeely, who can be contacted directly to arrange tutoring in individual or group study sessions. Days and times for regularly scheduled tutoring sessions are posted around the school.
These sessions are usually popular with Term 1 students, but anyone is welcome to attend. They are organized by the Student Services Coordinator, Matthew Chu, who arranges two study skills workshops per term, usually scheduled within the first month or so after the term starts. One workshop focuses on learning styles, time management and writing exams. The other focuses on oral/practical exam skills, providing tips on how to prepare successfully for this type of exam.
Lois Kunkel, Ed.D., coordinates the Counseling Service and provides counseling along with practicum placement students who are completing their university Master’s degrees. Massage therapy affects the mind/spirit as well as the body, so various emotional responses may occur. If you are a student with mental health considerations, we expect that you will maintain the connections you have with your current health-care providers. We can work in partnership with your healthcare team and our Counseling Service can offer you additional support in the school setting.
In addition, the Counseling Service offers support to students experiencing school-related anxiety, learning challenges and other learning dynamics. It is unusual to be a student in a setting where learning involves touch, and that alone can raise issues. The Counseling Service has experience in working with massage students learning about the effect of touch in their lives and in their learning. We also provide counseling to students seeking personal integration and growth as they develop into health-care professionals.
Special Needs Support
At the beginning of Term 1, the Student Services Coordinator, Matthew Chu, circulates the Student Special Needs Form to members of the new Term 1 class. This form captures information the school asks students to share with us for several important reasons:
Category 1 – Physical Health: gives us information about students whose health considerations need to be taken into account in practical classroom and testing situations.
Category 2 – Learning Disabilities: informs us about students who qualify for accommodations (documentation is also required).
Category 3 – Emotional Health: provides an option for students who have mental health conditions or intense personal circumstances to mention them on the form; doing so means they can have access to advice and support, especially from the Counseling Service, who are automatically informed.
Matthew is the point person for students who have special physical or learning needs, or for whom English is not their first language. Wherever possible within the policies and structure of the school, we make a genuine effort to be accommodating and supportive of individual needs.
Emergency Response Team (ERT)
We have an Emergency Response Team, which is made up of individuals trained in CPR and First Aid, as well as in the administration of AED and oxygen, both of which are onsite. Based on information reported by Matthew Chu from the Special Needs Form, the team maintains a list of students who have health issues that might require urgent attention or support. This team is made up of nine admin staff and faculty members.
Class Rep System
Each class elects representatives (usually two) to attend monthly lunch-hour meetings with members of the administration. The purpose of these meetings is to facilitate regular open dialogue about issues/concerns that arise and to promote timely problem solving. The meetings are chaired by Matthew Chu, the Student Services Coordinator. Matthew also meets with new class reps to have a chat about their role and how the monthly meetings work. Class rep responsibilities are determined by the needs of their role but also to some extent by the preferences of the class members they are representing.
Evaluations and Focus Groups
Course and clinic evaluations are conducted on a rotational basis to obtain student feedback about the school’s instructors and learning environments. As part of this process, students are requested to fill in confidential evaluation forms. This information is utilized by education team staff and individual instructors to improve our curriculum and delivery of the program.
Periodically, students are asked to participate in focus groups. These small groups of 8-10 generate comments regarding student services needs and student perspectives on the school and the program that are much appreciated and are used in a variety of ways to help enhance how the school functions.