Student Success

Samuel Merritt University's framework for student success describes transformative learning for practice as the over-arching experience that prepares students for the healthcare professions:

"Through transformative learning experiences, successful students at Samuel Merritt University achieve the institutional learning outcomes and mastery of competencies required by their discipline and the broader health care environment. Successful graduates demonstrate a commitment to the core values of health equity and service to the community. Students develop habits of thinking (habits of the mind), skillful practice (habits of the hands), and professionalism (habits of the heart) to make a lasting impact on the well-being of people and society."

Student Success Framework

We look beyond traditional metrics to consider a more holistic view of what it means to be a Samuel Merritt University graduate prepared to serve in the health care workforce and practice skillfully, with compassion, in complex, dynamic environments.  Our framework reflects the entirety of a SMU student’s learning experience, which extends beyond their program-specific professional discipline. 


Habits of the Mind, Heart, and Hands

Habits of the Mind, Heart and Hands

A fundamental premise of our framework is that when students begin their health profession education at SMU, they do so by already demonstrating effective habits of the mind (meeting rigorous criteria that merit admission), the potential for habits of the hands (completing practical experience related to their chosen area of study), and attributes foundational for habits of the heart (service and leadership experiences that demonstrate integrity and ethics).  The habits of the mind, hands and heart of our graduates have been enhanced throughout their entire SMU learning experience, culminating in a transformed individual, ready to embody what it means to be a member of their profession.

Knowledge and Learning

Knowledge and Learning

Transformative learning leads to a changed self-perception and a reinterpretation of the sense of self in relation to the world. The emergent world view becomes more inclusive, discriminating, and integrative of experience. Our philosophy of teaching and learning states that students and faculty are partners in the education experience.  We present both students and faculty with opportunities for transformative learning, believing that this is of tremendous importance to achieve SMU’s mission of graduating “highly-skilled and compassionate healthcare professionals who positively transform the experience of care in diverse communities.”

Student Success Measures

Student Success Measures

Professional readiness, service to the community and achievement of learning outcomes