Student Academic Success Center (Resource Highlight)

Fall quarter at UC Davis is now working through its 6th week! This seems pretty crazy because I know my brain is still relaxing on those warm beaches of summer. If your brain is still in summer mode, and/or if you need some extra help with courses, a great campus resource to utilize is the Student Academic Success Center (SASC)! This resource offers tutoring, study skills workshops, and pre-graduate advising. SASC is divided into two buildings, Dutton Hall and South Hall. All of the resources offered are free for UC Davis students. Let us highlight the main resources of the Student Academic Success Center.

South Hall

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Dutton Hall

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1. Drop in tutoring: SASC offers tutoring for many subjects, such as, writing, math, chemistry, physics, statistics, and biology.

  • Writing: Dutton Hall, second floor, is the place you want to head if you need help with grammar, thesis sentences, or anything writing. They have drop in tutors on MW 8:30am to 4:00pm, TR 8:30am to 3:00 pm, and F 8:30 to 12:00 pm. I have used these tutors many times. They are great for an extra pair of eyes to catch grammar errors or look for clarity in your paper. SASC offers writing specialists that are available by appointment or same day appointments (If you get there early enough to sign up). SASC also offers writing workshops. These workshops focus on helpful topics, such as, “In Class Writing”. For dates and descriptions on workshops please visit:http://success.ucdavis.edu/academic/workshops-writing.html. For more information on drop in tutoring visit: http://success.ucdavis.edu/academic/writing.html
  • Chemistry, Math, Statistics, and Physics: Drop in tutoring for math, chemistry, statistics, and physics hours typically range from 9 am to 5 pm, but for a more detailed schedule check out: http://success.ucdavis.edu/academic/dropin.html. There are also workshops offered for general chemistry, organic chemistry, all of the math series( 16, 17, 21), and physics. I love these workshops! They go hand-in-hand with the instructor’s lectures. The specialists who instruct these workshops slow down the lessons and answer a lot of questions.
  • Biology: Drop in tutoring is also available for BIS 2A- 2C. They also recently added tutoring for the upper division biology courses, such as, BIS 101, 102, 103 in SLB 1079 for Fall Quarter.

2. Another portion of SASC are the multiple programs that SASC houses. Some of these include: Guardian Scholars Program (GSP), Educational Opportunity Program(EOP), or TRIOs Scholars Program. All of these programs are geared towards supporting under represented students advance in higher education. For information on each of these programs visit: http://success.ucdavis.edu/programs/index.html

3. The SASC offers study skills workshops. These workshops are free to UC Davis students! They are offered multiple times over the quarter and are held in 114 South Hall. Some of the workshops include topics such as Time Management Basics or Success Strategies. For a more detailed list of the workshops offered and times visit: http://success.ucdavis.edu/study-skills/index.html

4. Pre-Grad/Professional advising: These advising centers are located in South hall and offer advising for pre- grad school, pre-health, and or pre-law. The center offers advisers who are specialized in helping students become ready to apply for these programs. For more information visit: http://success.ucdavis.edu/grad-prof/index.html

5. Transfer Reentry Veterans Center (TRV): The center is located in 1210 Dutton hall. They strive to help students who are transfer, reentry, or veteran students. You can visit to the TRV any time Monday-Friday between 9 a.m. – 4 p.m  to utilize their many resources such as academic advising or support resources. Some of the support resources they offer include a Graduate School Information or Financial Aid: Renewing the FAFSA workshops. They also offer a range of social activities. For more information please visit http://success.ucdavis.edu/trv/

SASC is a great resource on campus to take advantage of. It offers a diversity of resources for all of the students on campus. Please drop in to South Hall or Dutton Hall to get more information or drop in to BASC, so a peer advisor can point you in the right direction!

Brenda Garibay

3rd year Biological Sciences Major

Biology Academic Success Center Peer Advisor

Why Should Students with a Science Major Care about Writing?

A lot of students face their major’s College English Composition Requirement with dread. As you may know, this requirement dictates that to graduate from the College of BioSci, one must take 8 units in English Composition (UWP 1, 18, 19; ENL 3; COM 1-4; UWP 101; UWP 102 or 104 series) with at least 4 upper division units. In short, as a CBS student, writing is all but inevitable. Many students choose a major in the field of Biology to get away from English papers and then get incredibly dismayed when they find out about this requirement. (Note that health professional schools take it even further by requiring a year of English from their applicants!)

However, being a good writer pays off in the real world. We all know that efficient progress in science and technology cannot happen without communication, which is the fundamental vehicle for the sharing of knowledge. Within the scientific community, better communication leads to collaboration, easier access to cross-disciplinary knowledge, and more efficient training. Not only will this skill help you facilitate discussion with other researchers, but it will also allow the public, the source of your funds, to better understand your goals. Some of this communication will be verbal, but a large part of it will be in writing.  Regardless, verbal and written communication are deeply intertwined, and you, as a scientist, will have to be a master of both to get your discoveries and ideas across to others.

“I’m interested in being a healthcare provider though”, you may say. Then you may (and should) also be aware that writing office notes, patient reports, and consultations is part of the job description. Furthermore, a critical part of good medicine is the mastery of the presentation of scientific material to a variety of audiences (e.g. patients or co-workers). Many will have trouble doing this, but writing can help foster this skill by allowing you to improve the conciseness and accuracy of what you are trying to express. On a deeper level, as a healthcare professional, you will accumulate a vast spectrum of experience with the human condition. Throughout the journey, you will undoubtedly encounter fear, pain, struggle, and loss. You will spend a great deal of time listening to your patients’ narratives about their illnesses or health. Once in a while, you may feel that a particular experience has moved you or that you have gained valuable insight. It is only natural that you will want to share these episodes with other human beings. Although it will be easier to verbally communicate with your friends, family, and co-workers, writing allows you to reach out to more people in more places and immortalizes those experiences.

As a concluding remark, I would like to offer some personal tips on doing well in your writing courses:

1. Be patient. Writing takes some “getting back in shape”, especially if you have not had to write in a while.

2. Visit your instructor’s office hours and get a better understanding of what he/she wants.

3. Don’t procrastinate- college papers are not meant to be written at the last moment. Try to space out your writing sessions.

4. Ask another person to help you proofread. This is an important step because you can gauge how well your messages are getting across to people who are not familiar with your topic.

5. Address all parts of the prompt.


Wilson Ng

BASC Peer Adviser 2013-2014