Academic Resources and Tutoring at Your Fingertips

The forum took place Friday afternoon at the Student Resources Building. (The Bottom Line file photo)

Tim Fucci

Staff Writer

Stressed over your class load? Overwhelmed by the amount of reading? Struggling to write college-level papers? Never fear, CLAS is here.

The beauty about attending a major research university like UC Santa Barbara is the amount of free academic resources available at a student’s disposal. CLAS, short for Campus Learning Assistance Services, provides the majority of these resources.

Located on the third floor of the Student Resource Building at the west end campus near Pardall Tunnel, CLAS offers free academic services including course specific group tutorials, individual writing tutors, tutoring in specific subject areas and workshops designed for new college students.

“Basically CLAS is free services offered to students as a supplemental learning to their classes,” said Alex Marquez-Shaw, CLAS office intake counselor and fourth-year communication and environmental studies double major. “There are group tutorials which are sort of like discussion section in addition to your lecture and discussion. A lot of professors require their students to use CLAS to make sure students are keeping up with the material, especially for math.”

Group tutorials are available for specific courses in subjects including biology, chemistry, economics, engineering, math, statistics, and physics. To register for group tutorials, Marquez-Shaw recommends incoming freshman come to the CLAS office and talk to an intake counselor.

In addition to group tutorials, CLAS also offers individual one-on-one tutoring by appointment or drop-in for nearly every subject.

“Tutoring is more flexible than group tutorials, because you don’t have to register,” Marquez-Shaw said. “Tutoring schedules are posted in the CLAS office or online, and there are different services offered throughout the day.”

All tutors are highly skilled in their subject area.

“It was really helpful when I saw a CLAS tutor,” said business economics major Cody Costello. “My study group decided to hire him to tutor us before our midterms.”

Venus Nasri, business and operations manager of CLAS, said the program has recently expanded their tutoring and counseling staff to better assist students.

“We are a student service organization,” said Nasri. “We help all registered UCSB students master course material and we are committed to working collaboratively with faculty, TA and administrators and we have hired new employees like learning skills counselors for reading, writing and biochemistry,” Nasri said.

For students trying to adapt to the demands of college level work, CLAS also provides academic skills workshops. The academic skills program offers free study skills assistance in the form of small group workshops and one-on-one counseling to all registered undergraduate and graduate students. These workshops guide students in certain academic topics including how to organize your time and fight procrastination, and how to get the most out of lecture and perfect note taking, just to name a few.

Students interested in learning more about the services offered by CLAS or interested in enrolling in a tutorial or workshop can visit their website,, or drop by the office on the third floor of the SRB.

“The best thing is if you go to our website,” Nasri said. “Our program’s schedules are listed quarterly on our website. If students want more information they should come into the office and we would be happy to guide them and give them a full tour of our offices.”

While individual tutoring for writing and specific subjects are open throughout the year, enrollment in group tutorials and workshops is required. Enrollment for fall quarter begins September 19th at 12 p.m. These services fill up fast so do not hesitate.

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