Strategies for Success at Cal for Science,
Engineering and Mathematics Transfer Students
UC Berkeley
Spring 2005

Education 198: Section 22, 1 Unit, P/NP
Instructors: Dr. Raquel Romano Dr. Sheila Humphreys
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory EECS Department, College of Engineering

Course Description: This class is designed to help facilitate your transition into Cal by improving your knowledge of the university and its resources, by strengthening your academic skills, and by encouraging a collaborative community for learning. During the semester we will focus on areas that promote academic success, such as time management, preparing for exams and finals, critical reading and writing skills, and using campus resources. This class will focus on resources and pedagogy appropriate to students who want to major in science and engineering fields. The curriculum integrates discussion, reading, guest lectures, and student contributions, in order to address the issues that arise during your first semester as transfer students.


  • Participation: This class emphasizes class involvement; the more you put into the course the more you will get out of it. In addition to class participation, you will be asked to complete several out-of-class writing and campus/web research activities.
  • Attendance is mandatory for course credit. An attendance sheet will be distributed at the beginning of each class for you to sign.
  • Reading: Completing the weekly assigned reading or research activity is essential to participation in class discussions. You and a partner will be asked to help facilitate class discussions on course readings at least once during the semester.
  • Resource Review Project: In this project you and a class partner will have the chance to investigate and report to the class on the campus resource of your choice. We will talk in class about how to give effective oral presentations.
  • Instructor Meeting: Schedule an individual meeting (15-20 minutes) with one of the instructors before the sixth week.
  • Attend three on-campus workshops, lectures, or events of your choice, one of which must be sponsored by the Center for Transfer, Re-entry, and Student Parents. Write three one-page accounts of your experiences at these events. Due dates to be announced.

    Lecture Date Topic Readings Assignments
    1 1/18/05
  • Content/Logistics
  • Assignments/ Questions
  • Transition
  • Transfer Student Experiences: Comparing their Academic and Social Lives at the Community College and University
  • The Impostor Phenomenon
  • Stress 101
  • 2004 Undergraduate Survey Summary
  • How to Enroll in a Blackboard Course
  • Add class on CalBears.
  • Add self to course web site.
  • Add self to transfer student email list.
  • 2 1/25/05
  • Learning Styles
  • Learning Styles and Strategies
  • Learning Styles Questionnaire
  • Meet Your Students: Examples of Learning Styles
  • Free Write (Due January 25, 2005)
    Write a paragraph answering, "What are your greatest concerns about academic, social, and personal life at Cal?"
    3 2/1/05
  • Academic Support
  • Guest Speaker
    Eva Rivas, Associate Director of Advising for the College of Letters & Science
  • Browse: Academic Resources in Residence Halls
  • Academic Resources List (Due February 1, 2005)
    Make a list of academic support resources at Cal that are relevant to your specific major, career plans, and/or current courses. Resources may include undergraduate advisors, department-specific libraries or services, student groups, or personal contacts. Please include contact information (campus location, web site) and a brief description in your own words of what each resource/office/organization has to offer you. To get started, you can go to Cal's home page and type "academic advising" or "academic support" in the search box, and go from there or refine your search. You may turn in either a hard copy or email copy of your resources.
    4 2/8/05
  • Effective Studying and Critical Reading
  • Study Tips for Engineering and Science Courses
  • Textbook Reading Systems
  • Vary Your Reading Rate
  • Harvard Report on Reading
  • How to Talk to Faculty
  • How Do I Get to Know Faculty?
  • Faculty Meeting (Due February 8, 2005)
    Schedule a meeting with a faculty member of graduate student instructor for one of your courses by this week.
    5 2/15/05
  • Undergraduate Research
  • Guest Speaker
    Bren Ahearn, URO (Undergraduate Research Opportunities) Program Coordinator
  • Unlocking the Key to Undergraduate Research
  • Why And How to Get Involved in Undergraduate Research
  • How to Find a Lab Position
  • Undergraduate Research Search (Due February 15, 2005)
    After completing the readings, spend some time investigating the undergraduate research web sites found at the Undergrad Research at Berkeley web site. Here you will find links to undergraduate research in both L&S and the college of engineering. Create a list of undergraduate research projects that interest you, and provide a description of the project, e.g. faculty member, department, research area and specfic topic, prerequisite skills or background, etc. You may turn in either a hard copy or email copy of your project list.
    6 2/22/05
  • Test-Taking and Problem-Solving
  • How to Survive Engineering School
  • Problem-Solving Tests
  • Test Taking Tips (U. Michigan)
  • Essay Test-Taking Strategies
  • On Taking Essay Examinations
  • Problem Solving for Math and Science Courses
  • Common Key Words Used in Essay Questions
  • Event Write-Up #1 (Due February 22, 2005)
    Attend a non course-related campus event and write up a one-page description. You may choose an academic event (talk, workshop, seminar), social event (concert, game, club meeting), or any other campus event that extends and broadens your current range of experiences.
    7 3/1/05
  • Library Resources
  • Guest Speaker
    Brian Quigley, Librarian, Bechtel Engineering Library
  • None
  • Literature Search Preparation (Due March 1, 2005)
    Find an academic paper or journal article related to a research project you may potentially have an interest in. (If nothing comes to mind, take one of the undergraduate research projects you found in the last assignment and look for an article that describes the background you would need to apply for that position.) After reading the article, look through the list of references at the end and mark those that are of particular interest to you, e.g. seminal papers in the field, required background information, specific approaches to the problem. Bring the paper with marked references to class as preparation for the presentation on searching for scientific and academic literature.
    8 3/8/05
  • Time Management and Goal-setting
  • Overcoming Procrastination
  • Time Management Analogy
  • Literature Search Follow-up (Due March 8, 2005)
    Library Literature Search Follow-up Worksheet
    9 3/15/05
  • Scientific and Academic Reading and Writing
  • How to Read a Scientific Paper
  • Tips on Writing a Statement of Purpose
  • Statement of Purpose Pre-Writing Exercise
  • Event Write-Up #2 (Due March 15, 2005)
    Attend a non course-related campus event and write up a one-page description. You may choose an academic event (talk, workshop, seminar), social event (concert, game, club meeting), or any other campus event that extends and broadens your current range of experiences.
    - 3/22/05 Spring Break - -
    10 3/28/05
  • Transfer Student Panel
  • Guest Speakers
    Bharath Muthuswamy, EECS Graduate Student
    Catherine Pauling, Math Department, Undergraduate Student Affairs Officer
  • None
  • Scientific Writing Critique (Due March 28, 2005)
    Scientific Writing Critique
    11 4/5/05
  • Internships and Career Preparation
  • Career Center Article Archives
  • Career Center: Internships
  • Tang Center Career Counseling
  • Engineers: Prep for Technical Interview Questions
  • Top 10 Resume Pitfalls
  • Advisor Meeting (Due April 5, 2005)
    Schedule a meeting with an advisor in your school, college, or major by this week.
    12 4/12/05
  • Finals Preparation
  • Final Exam Prep Tips
  • Conquering Your Finals
  • U. Michigan School of Engineering: Time Management
  • Grade Anxiety
  • Finals Preparation Plan (Due April 12, 2005)
    Be prepared to share with the class your organized plan for preparing for final exams and projects. For an example schedule, see page 8 of U. Michigan School of Engineering: Time Management.
    13 4/19/05
  • Collaboration, Lab Courses, and Project-based Courses
  • Guest Speakers
    Clint Ryan, EECS TA
    Dan Garcia, EECS Instructor
  • None
  • None
  • 14 4/26/05 Resource Review
  • Delivery Dos and Don'ts
  • Speaking Tips
  • Resource Review Oral Presentations
    Resource Review Assignment
    15 5/3/05 Resource Review
  • None
  • Resource Review Oral Presentations
    16 5/10/05 Class Assessment
  • None
  • None