Frequently Asked Questions - Science

Frequently Asked Quesitons about our Science Program.

Drop-in Users

What should I do when I arrive?

Sign in on the computer at the entrance upon your arrival and a Drop-in Ambassador will direct you to the appropriate table. If there is no Ambassador available, you may take a seat at the table with the sign designated for your course. Feel free to make yourself comfortable and a tutor will check-in with you shortly. You can identify tutors by their program name tags.

How often should I sign in on the drop-in computer?

You should sign in on the computer each time that you visit drop-in, including within the same day. You should also sign in every hour that you are using drop-in services. Signing in helps us accurately track our usage, which is a way to secure funding for the program. We also use this data to schedule tutors so that we can best support your needs.

What do I do if there is no tutor for my course when I arrive?

If there is no tutor on shift when you arrive, you are welcome to stay and study for your course. We also encourage you to work with fellow classmates at the table!

Although our general service hours are 10AM-4PM, Monday through Friday, the specific schedules for each course vary. To see the schedule for your course, check the weekly drop-in schedule posted by the sign-in computer or on our program website.

Do I get to work one-on-one with a tutor in drop-in?

Tutors are encouraged to group students together to collaborate, which provides opportunities for you to connect and share ideas with both classmates and a tutor. Our services leverage the power of peer collaboration because research shows that students who work with others, discuss concepts, and share problem-solving strategies perform better in their classes and deepen their own learning.

Study Group Members

Can I attend a study group for which I’m waitlisted?

To ensure that study groups provide an intimate learning environment where all members can actively engage, seats are limited to 25 students per session. Thus, only registered members can attend. Study group facilitators are instructed to request non-registered and waitlisted students to leave. If seats become available, waitlisted students will be notified and invited to join. While you wait for seats become available, we encourage you to utilize drop-in services regularly to help you stay on top of the course material.

Can I switch to a different study group session?

Students can only be registered for one study group per course during the semester. If you wish to switch to a different session, you must first drop your current group and then sign up for the group you wish to join. If that session has no open seats, you’ll need to drop your current group and sign up for the waitlist.

How do I drop my study group if I am no longer able or interested in participating?

Please email the SLC Science Team at slc-science@berkeley.edu. Although you will automatically be dropped if you miss two consecutive or three total meetings, we encourage you to drop your group promptly to allow students on the waitlist to join.

Why are there always practice problems on the worksheet that we don’t go over in study group?

Our worksheets provide additional problems that aren’t covered in the session so that members can practice applying what they’ve learned in study group on their own. Doing so will help you strengthen your understanding of concepts previously covered, identify gaps in your knowledge, and further hone your problem-solving skills. We encourage you to tackle these problems and check your solutions with tutors in drop-in.

Exam Review Users

Can I attend the exam review even though I didn’t receive my seat confirmation?

Because seats are limited, students whose seats are confirmed receive priority. Peer facilitators are instructed to ask students without seat confirmations to leave. However, you are welcome to pick up an extra copy of the review worksheet in the Science Drop-in Area during service hours.

What should I do when I arrive?

You should have your seat confirmation email ready to show the peer facilitators upon your arrival. After the facilitators have confirmed your seat, please sign in on the computer at the entrance, pick up the review problem set, and have a seat.

Why are there always practice problems on the review worksheet that we don’t go over in the session?

Our worksheets provide additional problems that aren’t covered in the session so that you can practice applying what you’ve learned in the review on your own. Doing so will help you strengthen your understanding of the concepts, identify gaps in your knowledge, and further hone your problem-solving skills. We also encourage you to time yourself while solving these problems to simulate an exam-taking environment! Once you’ve tackled the problems, come check your solutions with peer tutors in drop-in before or after your exam.

Are solutions for the review worksheet provided?

While we do not provide solutions for review materials, students who have attended the session will receive the answer key by submitting a feedback form.. The feedback link will be announced during the review and you will receive an email reminder afterwards. After you have submitted your feedback, you can expect to receive the answer key within 24 hours. We encourage you to tackle the problems on your own and bring your questions to drop-in.

Faculty and Departmental Staff

What services does the SLC Science Program provide?

The SLC Science Program provides free academic support services to students enrolled in introductory science courses. We offer drop-in services, study groups, learning pods, and exam reviews. We endeavor to provide students with the right tools, approach, and strategies to bolster their confidence and thrive in the sciences.

Who provides the services?

We leverage the power of peer collaboration to meet students where they are and support them in mastering their science coursework. Students work with undergraduate peer tutors who have successfully completed the courses and are trained in active learning, collaborative peer pedagogy, and effective facilitation strategies specific to the sciences.

How do the tutors keep up-to-date with my course?

Each course that we support has a Course Liaison, a peer tutor who is responsible for attending lecture and office hours, disseminating notes to the tutor team (cluster), communicating with faculty, and having bCourses access. Clusters meet weekly with their Course Liaisons to discuss the material and deepen their own understanding of the subject matter to ensure that our services align with your pedagogy.

How can I inform my students about the program services?

There are several ways you can inform your students about our services:

  • Provide a link on your syllabus to the program website (www.slc.berkeley.edu/science). 
  • Make an announcement about the Science Program services on your bCourses page. To request a summary of our services to include in this announcement, please email the SLC Science Team at slc-science@berkeley.edu.
  • Request a class announcement. The Science Program can send tutors to share information with students prior to or following lecture. To make a request, please email slc-science@berkeley.edu.
  • Inform your GSIs about the program and encourage them to make announcements in their lab and discussion sections.
  • Refer your students to the program during your office hours and student appointments.