Survivng Drexel ACE - advice pls!

  1. Okay, somewhat new Drexel topic! (not that there aren't enough already). I guess I'm looking for somewhat specific advice (if possible). I hear the administration and some professors can be less than desired. So, I'm curious what people have done (or would suggest) to succeed in the program. Specific(ish) questions (If you'd rather, send me a PM, and I could at your discression, post it here):

    What classes/professors require you to be super textbook oriented (like, test questions often from the book, but not discussed in class)?

    What classes/professors seem more notes oriented (text just in case you're really curious).

    What is the level of homework in general. I understand there are care plans, but what other stuff is there? Papers? Regular questions?

    What books did you feel were really not worth buyin (never opened them)? Which ones were the most used?

    Which professors/classes were the killers (that you wish you had started studying sooner), and which were easier than expected?

    How are the classes organized? Does one professor teach all of the instances of a given class, or are there multiple professors for each subject?

    What is the classmates comraderie like? Do you guys feel closer or like enemies in the end? Is there a pinning ceremony?

    For those that found it to be not the hardest in the world, how did you find a 'groove'. For those that felt it was constantly an uphill struggle, what worked in the end?

    Thanks a million! (No, I'm not stressing out immensely, 8.5 weeks and counting!!!!!)
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    About PolaBar, BSN, RN

    Joined: Jul '08; Posts: 399; Likes: 321


  3. by   AugustRain
    Well, Loner, I'll give this a shot, but it's a few days before mid-terms, so not sure how coherent it will be.

    From what I've seen, a large part of how successful you'll be in this program has to do with how you approach it. I'm sure you know from your previous experience that every school/workplace has its ups and downs. Drexel is no different, but in terms of ACE, I'd say the good outweigh the bad. I think it's easy to become overwhelmed or frustrated and blame the professors/admininstration/evil HESI people when you don't do as well as you'd like, but I always remind myself that people have done this before me and it is possible. It's okay to get upset for a little while, but it's more important to suck it up, take responsibility for your own education, and figure out how to be successful next time. There is always help available, but you have to ask for it.

    As far as the workload goes, it's not terrible first quarter, but I highly recommend using that time to figure out how to organize your time. You need to decide what method of studying & time management works best for you. One trick that I use to avoid getting overwhelmed is not looking too far ahead. I know it may seem counterproductive, but I just try to focus on one thing at a really does help me prioritize. There's always plenty of work to be done at any given point, so "getting ahead" kind of goes out the window and it becomes much more important to stay on top of things. Study as you go along, and when exam time rolls around, you'll know where your weaknesses are so you can focus on that.

    Don't worry so much about what other people think about certian professors and their exams. Just because one student doesn't care for a particular professor, doesn't mean that you'll feel the same way. Use the power points and blueprints as a guide, ask questions, and do what works for you. Yes, I've had a couple of professors that everyone would agree were, um, not our favorites, but I still managed to do well in their classes. Go into each class & each experience with an open mind. Some of my absolute favorite profs, the ones who I learned the most from and went out of their way to teach me, scared the crap out of me in the beginning.

    Remember that when you open the syllabus on the first day, it will probably seem scary and impossible. You will likely be swearing under your breath and wondering what you got yourself into. That's just because you haven't learned it the time the scary things come along, you'll be ready for them. Give yourself a chance to enjoy the process with your classmates - form study groups, have lunch together, talk about something other than class. No matter how amazing the other people in your life are, no one else is going to understand your day to day like your ACE friends. Instead of competing against each other, work together, learn from each other, and try to prevent each other from looking like an idiot whenever possible. You'll be glad you did when someone returns the favor!

    Oh, and don't buy the med term flash cards, they are a giant waste of money and you don't need them at all. Skip the Potter & Perry study guide, it's also not helpful. And I'm not gonna lie, I never used my Clinical Skills book (and yes, I passed every check out on the first try).

    Not really sure if these were the answers you were looking for, but hope it helps a little!
  4. by   PolaBar
    Yeah, that's very helpful! Good luck on the midterms!
    (I'm surprised there's no "good luck" icon!)
    I think I'm just stressing out over everything right now, and reading some of the negative threads/posts worries me.
  5. by   AugustRain
    Thanks, I'll be glad when next week is over! Don't put too much stock in the negative posts, people are more likely to come here to vent than to tell you how great their day was. And try not to get too crazy as this whole thing is, I kind of love it. I'm all for procrastinating instead of studying at this point, so let me know if there's anything else you're curious about!
  6. by   kdrose01
    I've heard negative things about the ACE co-ops. Is it true that there aren't enough hospitals with co-op positions for everyone in the program? I've heard so many stories about how aggravating it is to find a co-op.

    Good luck on midterms!
  7. by   just_cause
    The ACE isn't a co-op program.... The ACE has clinicals that are scheduled by the faculty and the student goes to that location w/o having to schedule or coordinate the clinical.
  8. by   kdrose01
    That's interesting. My friend did Villanova's accelerated program and said everyone she's met from Drexel's ACE program complained about having to find a co-op. She said there are only 6 spots per hospital for whatever the program required, which wasn't enough to accommodate all the ACE students. Either way, she said she's only heard what a nightmare the program is, which is why I've crossed it off my list.
  9. by   AugustRain
    just_cause is correct, ACE & co-op are completely different programs. Perhaps your friend is confusing the two? Even in the co-op program, co-op and clinicals are not the same thing. As far as ACE clinicals go, you're given an a time, location, and professor. All you do is show up when they tell you to.

    Also, just a thought for everyone who has "heard" something about this, that, or the other - it's probably not the best idea to make life-changing decisions (in general, not just about nursing school) based on third-hand information. It's obviously a good thing to do your research, but try not to get so caught up in it that you forget to form opinions for yourself.
  10. by   kdrose01
    Thanks for the response! You're correct that it's important to base decisions on more reliable information. I'll keep that in mind.
  11. by   AugustRain
    Good luck with your decision! The application process/waiting is the worst, isn't it?

    And thanks to everyone for the good luck wishes for mid-terms...they're over, grades are in, and I survived! You all will too
  12. by   PolaBar
    For me, the waiting took nearly 9 weeks. I think part of that included having to get transcripts to them a second time. But, the week I was accepted, I was going to start mailing off other applications (had been waiting on letters of recommendation and childline clearances).
  13. by   AugustRain
    Me too Loner! My application was on hold and I didn't know it...I knew someone who got in weeks before I did and was convinced I wouldn't get in. Best feeling ever when I got my acceptance (actually, getting my HESI score yesterday kind of gave it a run for its money).
  14. by   PolaBar
    Yeah, the acceptance was the best feeling. Drexel was my #2 choice, but I never ended up applying to Jefferson. Congrats on (I'm assuming) passing the HESI! You are proof that it can be done!!!