Faculty Handbook: Support Services

Support Services - The Office of Academic Affairs (OAA)

The Office of Academic Affairs (OAA) provides general support for course directors and administrators to assure that CUNY SOM is compliant with CCNY, CUNY and LCME requirements regarding teaching, assessment and feedback.

Course information

OAA has a standard template for course information that must be completed or revised by course directors prior to the start of each course. All course information forms and course syllabi are posted on the OAA Blackboard site prior to the official start of the course. If any changes are made to the course syllabus, a revised form needs to be submitted to OAA to update the website.

Student Course feedback

OAA administers, monitors compliance, and generates reports on student feedback for each course and all faculty teaching within the course. An OAA assessment administrator is responsible for this process. The course and faculty survey items are standardized but course directors may add up to 10 additional items to obtain feedback on any changes or new formats or assignments. Student evaluations of courses must be posted on the last day of each course and students are required to complete these evaluations within 2 weeks of posting. The summaries will be provided to course directors for review and one week   later, after making any reasonable requested changes, will be distributed to department chairs and all relevant school administrators. Course directors are contacted annually to review and revise their course summary.Any surveys developed or utilized by faculty to obtain student feedback regarding a course or course faculty must be reviewed and approved by OAA prior to distribution to students.

Course assessments

All course directors (CDs) are required to complete and submit to OAA an annual form documenting their formative and summative feedback to students, and update annually the type of assessment, contribution to overall course grade, and competencies that are assessed with each evaluation. OAA has an educational technologist who can assist in the creation and implementation of web-based exams. Course exams should be proctored by administrators within the CD’s department; if a proctor is absent on the day of the exam, OAA will have a back-up proctor. For courses using the NBME mini-board exams, exams must be ordered at least 3 weeks in advance of the exam date. The NBME Chief Proctor assists in ordering exams and the Executive Chief Proctor is available for questions regarding creation of customized exams. The Chief Proctor is required to be present during any NBME testing. The NAC building fishbowl computer lab has been reserved for NBME exams. Scheduling of the fishbowl is done exclusively through the Executive Chief Proctor. Exam dates must be discussed in the Course Directors’ monthly meetings and with the Assistant Deans for Basic Science Curriculum and for Clinical Curriculum, to assure there is no conflict with other course sessions or exams, and that testing complies with SOM exam policies.

Course materials and teaching

OAA will develop guidelines for online course information with the aim of facilitating student access, through creation of a template for posting course information/materials. The education technologist is available to assist in online course design and use of technology to enhance learning (including blogs, flipped classrooms, etc). The Assistant Dean for Medical Education and Faculty development offers assistance with the creation of active learning, and can assist with observing and providing feedback on quality of teaching.

Curriculum mapping

The LCME mandates that the medical school curriculum be mapped to the school’s competencies and objectives. The curriculum mapping administrator in the OAA is responsible for collecting data from course directors on each course session and assessment, and how these link to school competencies and objectives. This individual can assist with the generation of reports regarding specific courses or topics, and where they are taught and assessed throughout the curriculum.


All courses are required to post session content in advance of course sessions and to podcast all lectures. OAA and the Course Administration staff are responsible for assuring that course sessions are captured, edited and uploaded within 48 hours after each session. Certain departments have been responsible for their own podcasting and uploading, however, OAA can assist all others with this process.