Academic Support Programs
Biology Bootcamp is a program for freshmen enrolled in BISC 160 and BISC 161 (introductory biology for science/pre-health majors and the lab) and is open to all majors. A week-long experience before the fall semester begins, Biology Bootcamp students will attend lectures, take exams, and participate in activities and workshops that are designed to help with the transition to university-level coursework. Lectures are taught by biology faculty who will teach the BISC 160 courses, and then students can experience how that knowledge is translated into exam questions. Students will learn how to balance a full load of classes and exams with other activities that are apart of campus life before actually taking the class. The program costs provide the textbook for the course, and students learn how to effectively read and learn from the textbook. The participants make connections between themselves, biology student mentors, and faculty, and have been shown to have better academic performance during the semester.
The Biology Mentor Program offers a biology community among undergraduate students. The mentor program helps students feel welcomed into their biology classes and keeps them on track for introductory biology courses and beyond. Mentors offer support and tutoring to undergraduates enrolled in Biology courses, and both mentor and mentee positions are open to all majors.
A variety of biology courses are supported by Supplemental Instruction (SI), a set of weekly group review sessions that are run by students selected and trained by the professor and the Center for Excellence in Teaching & Learning. SI leaders have recently taken the course and earned high grades, and schedule the weekly sessions for students to compare notes, discuss readings, develop organizational tools, work problems, and predict test items in informal review sessions. SI is used in historically difficult courses and is open to all students. National statistics on the effectiveness of SI sessions clearly indicate that students who participated regularly in SI sessions earned higher grades than those who did not participate in SI sessions.