Student Success Network

The Student Success Network (SSN) is a peer-based teaching program of dedicated upper-class students, providing learning strategies to facilitate the transition to medical school. Our program supports long-term study techniques, clinical correlations, and exam preparation for preclinical students. An additional mission of SSN is to promote excellence in education through the training and development of student-teachers.

While enjoying strong faculty and administrative support, SSN is composed of and run by students, lending a uniquely approachable perspective to our teaching. Learn more about the SSN by viewing our frequently asked questions below.

Why is the Student Success Network important?

Regardless of individual talent and prior experience, medical school can at times be overwhelming for anyone. The Student Success Network (SSN) promotes a sense of teamwork and efficient learning through small group review sessions facilitated by second- and fourth-year students. These review sessions cover the important and difficult concepts you’ll need to know for exams. Review sessions also expose students to varying strategies for organizing and studying information via upperclassmen. To supplement the sessions, we provide review sheets and practice questions highlighting the important points of each lecture. Fundamental to our philosophy is putting into action the tenet of learning from (and thus teaching) your colleagues. It’s a fun way to learn. We encourage all first-year students to participate in our review sessions.

When are review sessions?

Most blocks will have two review sessions. Exact dates are emailed to class listservs. Review sheets are uploaded to CourseWorks a few days before the review session.

Do you have any advice for buying textbooks at this point?

Textbooks are not required and are really a matter of learning style and preference. It's useful to experiment with them and with ways of using them to see if they are right for you. Since test questions are largely based on lecture slides and small groups, textbooks can function as a secondary resource for difficult material covered in lectures. Most students find it best to vary the way they learn course material by using Student Success Network study sheets, web resources, and—you guessed it—textbooks to help supplement lecture slides. But you won‘t want to purchase every recommended textbook. To help navigate this uncertainty, we surveyed the Class of 2014 about which resources, including textbooks, they found most useful. The results of this survey are uploaded in the Google Drive folder. The Center for Education Research and Evaluation surveyed the Class of 2015 and their results are in the drive folder as well. You will be notified if this information is further updated.

What is CourseWorks?

CourseWorks is Columbia’s online course management system to coordinate files, calendars, and other information. You’ll become familiar with it quickly, and we’ll briefly introduce it to you during orientation.

Who are the leadership contacts for the Student Success Network?

Fall 2023 Leaders:

Director: Julia Davis-Porada (jmd2241)

BHD Coordinator: Omid Cohensedgh (oc2214)

MM Coordinator: Simone Dreux (srd2179)

Anatomy Coordinator: Caroline Chen (cc4043)

Lead and one-on-one Coordinator: Anna Lampe (al4242)

Medical Small Group Coordinator: Nate Sacks (njs2117)

Dental Small Group Coordinator: Karen Benloulou (kb3320)

Training Coordinators: Matthew Spence (mds2271) & Neeha Kothapalli (nk3047)

Resource Coordinator: James Park (jkp2154) & Kensington Cochran (kbc2139)

Finance Coordinator: Jinjie Ling (jl5855)

Dental School Representatives: Yarina Guzman Frias (yf2657) & Janet Lee (jsl2288)