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Supporting Academics

Students receiving academic support in a meeting roomLearning at university can be a different experience for students, especially those coming directly from high school.

At university students may be:

  • Studying in much larger classes.
  • Introduced to high-tech teaching methods.
  • Responsible for balancing personal interests and a heavier course load.

The transition to university includes many changes to the academic environment and it is common for students to experience a decline in grades, especially during the initial adjustment period. Students may also be adjusting to an increased workload; though students may spend as little as 15-20 hours a week in class. The rest of the time they will be expected to learn independently or form study groups. Students are encouraged to seek help and access the many supports in place to support student learning.

Students experiencing difficulty may find it helpful to speak with an academic advisor.

Please note that parents and families will not be notified of a student’s grades, in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA).

How can Student Life help before classes begin?

  • Smart Start

    New students are invited to attend the Smart Start program to ease the transition into university. Smart Start provides students with the opportunity to refresh their knowledge and develop learning skills in a supportive environment. Students will have the opportunity to:

    • Review prerequisite material necessary to succeed in their courses.
    • Develop realistic expectations of university.
    • Learn effective time-management and active study strategies.
    • Meet professors and upper-year students to ask questions about classes.

How can Student Life help once classes begin?

  • Drop-ins and Workshops

    Workshops are designed to focus on specific topics. Math and science workshops supplement course lectures by providing students with opportunities to review challenging concepts and practice problem-solving. Writing workshops support the writing process and university-level writing conventions.

    Many unique drop-in services are available to provide students with a space to study or work on assignments where an Academic Subject Specialist is available to address questions. These include:

    • Physics Space
    • Writing Room
    • Math Study Hall
    • Chem Corner
    • Conversation Café
  • One-on-One Appointments
    Academic Subject Specialists and Peer Tutors support individual students in mathematics, writing, ESL/EAL, physics, study skills and many other subject areas.
  • Peer Assisted Study Sessions
    Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) are for students in historically difficult first-year courses. Through PASS, students have opportunities to review concepts learned in class in small-group settings with interactive activities.
  • Online Support

    nool is an online resource developed by the Student Learning Centre. This web resource provides interactive learning materials that help students improve their skills in mathematics, writing and study skills.

    Online appointments are also available to students upon request.


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