USC is fortunate to have a large pool of dedicated faculty, both full-time and part-time, who are committed to mentoring our students. Students currently enrolled in USC’s DPT program are also available to provide guidance to new students through “the buddy system” and through various student activities.
Faculty Mentoring Students
The purpose of the DPT faculty-student mentoring program at USC is to connect each student with a dedicated faculty member who can provide information and personalized, professional guidance. The goal is for each student to have a faculty contact who will know them well. This enables students to openly discuss all aspects of their education, including career interests and goals as a physical therapist.
Students will have a formal meeting with their faculty mentor at least once during the first month of each semester to review their progress. Each student is assigned to a mentor, but that does not mean the student cannot develop close professional relationships with other faculty. For example, if a student is interested in participating in research or has a specific clinical interest, another faculty member who specializes in that research or area of interest may also mentor the student.
The faculty mentor should be seen as an advocate for the student, and the student should feel their mentor is there to help them get the most out of their physical therapy education at USC.
Students Mentoring Students: The Buddy System
New students in our DPT program are also encouraged to interact with second and third year DPT students as a resource for guidance and support. Each incoming student is assigned to a second-year student, or “buddy,” before they begin the program, allowing them to ask questions about upcoming courses, textbooks and student life.
Student-organized events also occur throughout the three years of the program, including volunteer opportunities, community events and social events. Examples include the Physical Therapy Multicultural Alliance and Fit Families. These events are a unique opportunity for current USC students, graduates and faculty to come together outside of the classroom setting.