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Academic Support

Each course in our introductory series Biology 001 & 002 is team taught by a staff of 8 professionals who welcome students to discuss all aspects of the course in office hours and appointments. Our intermediate courses and advanced seminars are taught by individual professors who welcome students to discuss all aspects of their courses in office hours and appointments. 

Science Associates Program (SAs) 

The Science Associates Program is designed to enhance comprehension and critical thinking for introductory biology students through facilitated collaborative problem solving. Science Associates (SAs) are advanced biology students selected and trained to facilitate peer learning. SAs review course content with lecturing faculty and learn pedagogical principles and practices from the program's coordinator.

Biology 1 and 2 students are encouraged to attend Study Group Meetings (SGMs) to test out their evolving ideas and problem solving strategies. Students generally work in small discussion groups to clarify concepts and puzzle out problems. Science Associates and snacks are available to facilitate these efforts. Science Associates host SGMs in Edward Martin Biological Laboratory Rooms 213 & 219 on the following schedule:

Non-quiz weeks: Wed & Thu 7-9 p.m.
Quiz weeks: Sun & Wed 7-9pm & Thu 7-11p.m.

Laboratory Teaching Assistants (TAs) 

Our team-taught introductory biology courses Cellular & Molecular Biology (Biology 1) and Organismal & Population Biology (Biology 2) provide substantial opportunities for laboratory data collection, data analysis and writing. Resources to help students learn these activities include two members of the professional teaching staff and a student teaching assistant (TA) for each lab section.

Student Teaching Assistants host evening GRaphics And Statistis Software Sessions (GRASSS) to help introductory biology students analyze their experimental data. They also assist the professional teaching staff in teaching classical and cutting edge lab techniques and in guiding field trips e.g. to the Academy of Natural Sciences and Longwood Gardens.

Writing Associates Program (WAs)

The Biology Department's introductory courses, Bio 1 and Bio 2 are writing intensive, as are several upper-level courses.  The Writing Associates Program, which has been helping students become better writers for over 25 years. 

The goals of the Writing Associates program are:

  • To work with student writers at all stages of the writing process and in all disciplines.
  • To provide feedback and strategies designed to help student writers with the larger questions of structure, organization, style, and argument as well as the smaller issues of sentence clarity and grammar.
  • To talk with student writers about their writing and thinking process in order to develop the analytical skills, stylistic know-how, and confidupper ence necessary for successful college writing.
  • To provide student writers with strategies that they can apply to their own writing and revision process.
  • To develop in our WAs skills and the ethical intelligence necessary to function as citizen teachers after leaving the college.

Dean's Tutor Program

The Dean's Office funds individual tutors for students with a demonstrated academic need. This program is available for students who have tried departmental resources such as instructor office hours or peer academic support programs, but still have below a passing grade. The Dean's Office also funds individual tutors for students who require medical assistance.