All students struggle academically at some point in their career. So, if you are not learning well in one or many of your classes, it's completely normal! Similarly, many professors struggle in getting their research grants funded the first time around and struggle in leading successful classes during the first few years of their teaching career.
You should never feel ashamed when asking for help as getting help immediately is one of the best things you can do to ensure your overall well-being, both academically and psychologically.
In general, you can find three types of academic support services available on campus: subject area tutoring, skills building, and peer mentoring. For STEM majors at CSULB, we recommend receiving tutoring at the SAS Center, the Lindgren Math Tutoring Center, and by the Physics Learning Assistants; work with an academic coach from the Learning Center to improve your study skills; and receive peer mentorship in a Freshmen Scholars Learning Community.
For convenience, we provide a summary of the recommended services here.
Subject Area Tutoring
The Division of Student Affairs offers a comprehensive website that includes all available tutoring on campus. Note that you can seek out tutoring for a variety of reasons:
- Review before tests
- Review exam results and missed homework problems
- Improve study skills and time management skills
- Overcome struggling with a particular concept or problem
- Build your confidence in a subject matter
- Stay on top of your homework and study routine
- Meet peers in your subject area and receive mentorship from peers or upper-class students
Jensen Student Access to Science and Math Center (SAS)
Free drop-in tutoring is available for all students in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (CNSM) courses (e.g., Math, Statistics, Physics, Chemistry, Geology, and Biology) at the Jensen SAS Center.
Check out their website for a list of courses tutored by the SAS Peer Mentors as well as the tutoring schedule and instructions on how to attend their tutoring services during fall and spring semesters.
Lindgren Math Tutoring Center
The Lindgren Math Tutoring Center offers free tutoring in Mathematics (MATH), Statistics (STAT), and Math Education (MTED) courses to CSULB students during Fall and Spring semesters.
Physics Learning Assistants (Physics LAs)
The Physics Learning Assistants are undergraduate students who, with the guidance of course instructors, provide free academic support to their peers in PHYS 151 and other physics and math courses, strengthening their own understanding of the course material in the process.
Regardless of where you are at in your academic preparation and perceived capabilities, every student is able to learn and develop their academic skills at all stages of their academic career. Science and mathematics classes almost always require students to develop higher order thinking abilities (critical thinking, problem-solving, logical reasoning, etc.) in a very short period of time.
Because the content is often sequential and requires prior knowledge, keeping up with the pace of the course is essential to ensure you are successful in the current and the next courses. To that end, science and math students are required to develop and eventually have excellent note-taking, time management, organizational, analytical, bookkeeping, team-working, verbal and written communication, and active learning skills.
If you ever find yourself struggling in any of those areas, it is time to check out some skills building resources on campus.
The Learning Center (TLC)
The Learning Center (TLC) is located in Room 160 of the Student Success Center. Besides offering free content tutoring in lower-division science and math courses (e.g., Biology 205, 207, 208, Chemistry 140, Math 104 and 115, Statistics 108 and 118) for non-CNSM majors and ESL language and writing tutoring, they offer free one-on-one academic coaching to support students in all majors in building their study skills.
Students can check out self-paced online learning modules such as time management, first-week success strategies, strategies for online exams, preparing multiple exams in the same week, and motivation and online learning. Students can also make an appointment to work with a one-on-one tutor or an academic coach via BeachConnect, absolutely free of charge!
University Writing Center (UWC)
This might sound surprising to you, but science and math students need strong writing skills! You will routinely be required to explain your ideas clearly and succinctly through writing, more and more so in upper-division classes.
The University Writing Center (UWC) offers 45-minute one-on-one writing appointments free of charge to currently enrolled CSULB students during fall and spring semesters. They offer a variety of tutoring services and workshops for students across the campus, from one-on-one in-depth consultations where you can get answers to your writing questions to workshops on taking the GPE, writing strong arguments, and proofreading for error-free writing.
As a CNSM student, you are highly recommended to sign up for NSCI 190A (1 unit, CR/NC) in your first semester at the Beach and join a Freshmen Scholars Learning Community (FSLC) to be partnered with a SAS Peer Mentor who can provide one-on-one support to help you study effectively and navigate through the challenging first year of college.
By joining FSLC, you will be surrounded by a community of students with similar interests and struggles. You will likely take similar courses throughout your academic career at the Beach and have a supportive cohort of students with you as you progress. This is one of the easiest thing you can do to ensure you are successful at the Beach.
All you need to do now is to fill out the interest form online and someone will contact you for the rest.