With instruction for the 2022-23 academic year starting next week, incoming students might be feeling nervous about adapting to UCI’s academic environment. Because UCI prides itself on its culture of academic excellence, there are plenty of resources to help students improve their learning, study skills, exam preparation, and overall academic performance.
But many incoming students wonder when it is appropriate to seek out academic support. The short answer is early and often. There’s no specific time or catalyst that signals when it’s time to reach out for help. Rather than a last resort, students should think about academic support as an ongoing process that begins as soon as they walk into their first class. As a UCI student, you are part of a community of learners, and it’s important to acknowledge that the work you’re doing is challenging. Seeking academic support isn’t something to be embarrassed about; it simply shows that you are being proactive about your success.
Here are some of the easy ways to seek out help this quarter:
- Talk to Your Instructors: While it may seem intimidating, reaching out to your instructors is one of the best ways to get help on course materials and assignments—after all, they are the experts on the subjects you’re learning! There are many ways to connect with your instructors. For instance, you can also message them through Canvas, send them an email, or chat in person during office hours or after class. And don’t forget that this advice applies to TAs, learning assistants, and any other members of the teaching team for your courses. Not sure how to break the ice? Then check out these tips on emailing faculty from the UCI Center for Excellence in Writing & Communication.
- Connect with Peers: Your classmates are also great academic resources. Your peers will likely have different perspectives on course materials and may be able to help you understand certain topics in a way that resonates with you. In return, you can probably help them understand some of the concepts they are struggling with. Forming an open and inclusive learning community with your classmates is a great way to support everyone involved. Connecting with your peers and building a learning community is as easy as being friendly, starting conversations outside of class, and suggesting a meetup to go over course materials. Visit LARC’s Study Smarter page for tips on forming study groups.
- Utilize Support Programs: Of course, UCI’s academic support programs are always available to offer assistance. Here are some of the top resources for students:
- For help with research, students are encouraged to reach out to UCI Libraries’ Subject Librarians. Subject Librarians are experts in a given academic discipline and can help students with research strategies and connect them with reliable sources.
- Students with disabilities can reach out to the UCI Disabilities Services Center for learning accommodations, testing accommodations, campus transportation services, and additional academic support.
Of course, we at the LARC are here to help you succeed! Whether you want to meet with one of our academic coaches one-on-one, sign up for a LARC tutorial, or check out our best learning tips, we are excited to work with you and help you find the academic support you need.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us for additional information.