Academic Support Services

The Office of Academic Support Services (OASS) offers the following programs in support of new and continuing undergraduates as they make their transition into the University at Albany community. These comprehensive support services include an academic early warning program, independent tutoring program, faculty mentoring programs, and study skills workshops. OASS also administers programs that include the Educational Opportunities Program, Project Excel, CSTEP/LSAMP, STEP, and UASRP.

Academic Early Warning System

The main objective of the Academic Early Warning System is to have professors identify students experiencing problems and to encourage them to utilize available academic and advising support services in order to overcome their difficulties. This warning is in lieu of a mid-semester grade.

The designated university courses include the following: A BIO 120, 121; A CHM 120, 121, 220, 221; A ECO 110, 111; A MAT 101, 106, 108, 111, 112, 113; A PHY 105, 108; A PSY 101, 210, 211; A SOC 115, 221; B ACC 211, 222; I CSI 101, 201.

During the 5th week of the semester, this composite list of potential failures will be circulated to the academic advisers of these students so that they can encourage the following help: 1) conference with faculty member of particular course; 2) consultation with academic/faculty adviser; 3) participation in respective study group (all of the Academic Early Warning System courses are an integral part of the study group plan); and 4) involvement with an independent tutor. Also, a staff member from the Office of Academic Support Services will contact the students, advising them of their options.

Independent Tutoring Program

The Office of Academic Support Services provides the student community with an updated listing of academically successful students who are available to tutor students on a one-on-one basis. These independent tutors have taken the course in which they tutor and have received a B+ or higher. This independent tutor must have at least a 3.00 cumulative academic averages, secure faculty recommendations, pass the personal interview, and complete a tutoring orientation.

Faculty Mentoring Program

Matriculated students at the University at Albany are eligible to participate in one of the faculty mentoring programs. If enrolled in a program, it is expected that the student be willing to interact with a faculty or professional staff member in a mentoring partnership. University mentoring programs take many forms and address different groups including the following: Presidential Scholars; academic probationers; multicultural recruitment students; special talent admits; and other students, especially incoming freshmen seeking support. For a new freshman or a continuing student with academic needs, family or personal problems, the value of a trusted friend, confidante, guide, and role model is obvious. For mentors, a one-to-one relationship can be an opportunity to give another person the guidance and support they once received from their own mentors.

Mentoring is not an easy job; it is not a job quickly accomplished. Yet helping and guiding a young person may be the most important work a volunteer will ever do.

Study Skills Workshops

Study skills workshops are offered free of charge to all students, especially freshmen. These one-hour sessions provide an opportunity to acquire skills vital to achieving academic success. Titles of workshops include time management, textbook mastery, learning from lecture, memory enhancement, listening skills, examination preparation, examination strategies, multiple choice examination skills, and final exam preparation.

Educational Opportunities Program (EOP)

The Educational Opportunities Program (EOP) seeks to provide admission opportunities for economically and educationally disadvantaged students of all races who are residents of New York State and wish to enroll in one of the many undergraduate departments at the University at Albany. While students and families are expected to assist themselves financially as much as possible, the university realizes that most students admitted to the EOP require support through available grants, scholarships, jobs and loans. The program provides supportive services designed to help students who need assistance in academic, financial, social and personal matters

Project Excel

Providing academic support and assistance designed to increase the retention and graduation rates of 200 hundred low-income, first generation, or disabled students is the primary mission of the Project Excel Program. Funded by a five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Project Excel is a TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) Program. Project Excel strives to achieve its goal of a graduation rate of 65% of its participants by offering the following services: supplementary academic advisement, personal counseling, career planning, financial aid planning and information; peer mentoring; study skills workshops; support in writing and mathematics; tutoring; professional and graduate school speakers; graduate school application counseling; and field trips related to professional goals.

Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP/LSAMP)

The mission of this program is to provide students from historically underrepresented groups (African American, Latino, and Native American descent), low-income backgrounds, and first generation college students, with guidance and support to pursue professional degrees, licensed professions and Ph.D. degrees in science and technology. The Collegiate Science Technology and Entry Program (CSTEP) seeks to support undergraduate students with majors in science and/or technology fields including, but not limited to, mathematics, chemistry, biology, pre-med, public health, physics, economics, information science, pre-engineering or computer science, with a cumulative GPA of a 2.80 or higher. The program also seeks students who are interested in pursuing licensed professions like law, nursing, or pharmacy, degrees leading to a certification as a public accountant (CPA), and students interested in teaching mathematics or science. 

CSTEP students are provided with many opportunities to aid in their success. Some of the benefits include:

  • Career counseling
  • Information about the application process for licensed professional degrees and Ph.D. programs
  • Discounts on some preparatory graduate exam courses that they may take in order to prepare for GRE, MCAT, GMAT, OAT, LSAT, or PCAT
  • Tutoring for all science courses
  • Peer mentorship by upper classmen who have taken a majority of the pre-health curriculum
  • Faculty research opportunities through the University at Albany Summer Research Program (UASRP)

Additionally, there are other programs available to assist CSTEP students with their goal of securing a degree from undergraduate through Ph.D.

Science & Technology Entry Program (STEP)

This program serves middle and high school students in the capital region of Albany, New York. The Science & Technology Entry Program (STEP) brings the college experience to the urban and city communities in Albany. STEP is part of a statewide body that is coordinated by the New York State Education Department.

STEP prepares historically underrepresented and/or economically disadvantaged elementary and secondary school students to acquire the aptitude and skills necessary to pursue post-secondary degree programs that lead to professional careers in the scientific, technical, health-related, or other licensed professions.

The program also challenges parents and educators to become involved in the process to support the development of our “community of learners.” Students are expected to participate in and attend the annual statewide conference.

The goals of the program are as follows:

  • To stimulate, challenge, and encourage students to achieve in a technological setting
  • To introduce students to a variety of careers in the fields of math, science, and technology
  • To meet people in the industry and in education and to encourage students to pursue careers in math, science, and technology
  • To provide a non-threatening environment for students

The benefits of STEP are as follows:

  • Academic instruction
  • Tutoring
  • Counseling
  • Technology-based projects
  • Field trips
  • Enrichment activities