Programs & Services
Learning Support Services
© UC Santa Cruz, LSS
Why should I go to MSI?MSI is guaranteed study time. The Learning Assistant received a grade of B or better in the class. He/She facilitates the group but focuses on assisting students to answer the questions themselves. Students who attend MSI 4 or more times are much more likely to not only pass the class but are more likely to receive a higher grade than students who do not attend MSI. MSI also gives you a chance to get to know others in your class in a relaxed environment.
What can I expect from an MSI session?MSI is available to all students in the course. Students are asked to work together with the facilitation of the Learning Assistant. The Learning Assistant's primary goals are to help students become independent problem solvers and thinkers and to help them achieve excellence in the class.
When does MSI start?MSI generally starts during the second full week of the quarter. The actual start time is the first session after the announcement is made in class.
Where can I find the MSI Schedule?The MSI schedule is found online at https://eop.sa.ucsc.edu/msi/msischedule.cfm
Where is MSI held?To find the location of an MSI Session, go to https://eop.sa.ucsc.edu/msi/msischedule.cfm and click on the class. MSI Sessions are located across campus, often at the ARCenter (which is located between McHenry Library and the Music Center) and the Oakes Learning Center.
What if I miss the announcement?You can go online to https://eop.sa.ucsc.edu/msi/msischedule.cfm and click on the class.
How do I find out about an exam study sessions?MSI exam study sessions are limited to those who have come to MSI at least once before. The Learning Assistant will announce the study sessions during MSI sessions and/or an email may be sent to students who have attended sessions.
Are MSI sessions permanently cancelled?MSI sessions are permanently cancelled if attendance is low. If you want the services to continue for the class, you must attend MSI.
How are classes that are supported by MSI supports chosen?The classes are usually large (over 50) entry-level lower and upper division courses. The courses have generally proven to be difficult for many students. Professors can also request to have MSI support for their course.
Does MSI happen during finals week?No, unless there is a study session scheduled. The last MSI sessions for the quarter are held during the last week of instruction.
How are MSI times selected?A survey is done in class during the first few days of the quarter. The most popular times and widely distributed times are chosen.
Do I have to go every week?For most classes, weekly attendance is not required; although, students tend to get the most benefit from the MSI sessions if they attend weekly or at least 4 times during the quarter. For some courses, MSI may have a sign-up procedure that will require you to sign-up for and attend a specific session each week. If your course has a special MSI sign-up process, it will be marked with an asterisk (*) on the MSI supported course list located on the MSI website.
If I need more help, what other services does Learning Support Services offer?If a course is supported by MSI you must attend MSI first. If you would still like to receive additional tutoring support, please contact Learning Support Services at 459-4333.
Who are the Learning Assistants?
The Learning Assistants are undergraduates who have previously taken the course and received grade a B or better. All Learning Assistants have been recommended by a professor and many are hand picked by the professor who is currently teaching the class.
How do I contact the Learning Assistant?The Learning Assistants are in every lecture, so you can talk to them there. They generally sit near the front and in the same spot every time. You can also e-mail them. Go to https://eop.sa.ucsc.edu/msi/msischedule.cfm and click on the class. The e-mail is located at the bottom of this page (Please note that MSI Learning Assistants may or may not answer questions sent by e-mail). Of course, the best place and time to talk with them is during their scheduled MSI sessions.
How do I find out more information about the Learning Assistant?You can go on-line to https://eop.sa.ucsc.edu/msi/msischedule.cfm and click on the Learning Assistant’s name. Here you will find a picture, his/her person statement, the times and locations of MSI, as well as his/her e-mail address.
How do I become a Learning Assistant?In general, the professor will recommend students. If you are interested, you should let your professor know. You must have received a B or better in the class and currently be in good academic standing. You can also apply to the position on the Career Center Website (Job #0527), so that you receive emails regarding our open positions. We generally start to hire for the next quarter in the last few weeks of the previous quarter. Please see Student Job Listings for more details.
How do I sign-up for tutoring?
Log-in to the OTSS student portal. If you are a first time user, you will need to register.
When can I sign up for a tutor?Sign-ups generally begin during the second full week of the quarter. Check the announcements on the tutor website for specific dates for this quarter.
What can I expect from my tutoring sessions?The tutoring sessions are meant to be interactive. You can expect to participate: to ask and to answer questions, to clarify important concepts and to develop study strategies that are improtant for your discipline.
Who is eligible for tutoring?All UCSC students are eligible for up to 1 hour per week of tutoring, as long that the class is not supported by MSI. If the class is supported by MSI, you must attend MSI first. Then, if you would still like additional tutoring you must complete the following process to access this service.
Is the tutoring one-on-one or with a group?Each tutoring session can have up to 4 students. If you require specific accommodations, such as one-on-one tutoring, please contact Learning Support Services at 459-4333.
How much tutoring can I receive?You may receive one hour of tutoring per week in each class that you are taking.
Is there drop-in tutoring?Generally, no. When you sign up for a tutor using OTSS you are making a commitment to attend the session each week. (After you miss 2 sessions your tutor can drop you from the session.) We do offer drop-in tutoring for Writing three times a week at the ARC. We also offer drop-in math tutoring for classes below Math 100. For more information go to http://www.math.ucsc.edu/about/dropintutor.html.
Who are the tutors?All of our tutors are undergraduate students in good academic standing who have received a B or better in the class that they are tutoring. In addition, each tutor is required to participate in quarterly training.
How do I contact my tutor?After you sign up for a session, you will receive an automatic email with your tutor’s contact information. It is your responsibility to contact the tutor within 48 hours. If you have any problems contacting your tutor, please contact Learning Support Services at 459-4333.
Where are the tutoring sessions held?All tutoring sessions are held on campus in an academic setting. Tutoring sessions cannot be held in dorm rooms, dorm lounges, or cafes with music. There is space available at the Academic Resources Center and at the Oakes Learning Center. When you contact your tutor the two of you will decide on an exact location. We encourage you to have your first meeting at the Academic Resources Center (ARC).
Does tutoring happen during Finals Week?Tutoring ends the last week of instruction unless you make specific arrangements with your tutor to meet during Finals Week.
If I am receiving tutoring, do I still need to attend lecture and section?Absolutely! Our services are supplemental and are meant to help you develop your understanding of the course material. You will get much more out of your sessions if you attend lecture and section regularly.
What if there are no tutors available for my class?If there are no available tutors for your class, OTSS will prompt you to add your name to the waitlist. Then it is a two-part process: 1) You need to check in with your professor, TA and peers to see if they have a recommendation for a tutor. Also, check in with Learning Support Services regularly. 2) We will contact our current employees and applicants to see if they can fulfill your request.
What if I canít meet at the times listed?If there is a tutor available for your class but you cannot attend at the times listed, you can add your name to the waitlist. Be sure to include as many times you are available as possible. Remember that you will have to be flexible, since all tutors are students too.
What if I have to cancel a session?Please give your tutor at least 24 hours advance notice if you need to cancel a session.
What if I need reschedule my tutoring session?If it is a permanent change, check on the OTSS system for an available spot. Also check with your tutor to see if he/she can open up a new session. You will need to enroll in the new session. If it is a temporary change, you can check with your tutor to see if he/she can accommodate your request. Please be respectful of your tutorís schedule and time commitments.
What if I no longer need or want to meet with my tutor?Please call our office at 459-4333, or email firstname.lastname@example.org, to be removed from your session.
What if I am having problem with my tutor?Please contact our office at 459-4333 and we will assist you.
What if I need special accommodations during my tutoring sessions?Please contact Learning Support Services and the DRC and we will coordinate appropriate accommodations.
How do I become a tutor?Please visit the Student Job Listings page for more information.