Resource Guide for Parents

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Academic Advising and Support Services
Quick Reference: Advising, Counseling, and Health

Most Cal students have been high academic achievers throughout their educational careers. At the university level, instruction is accelerated, and competition among students is stiffer. As parents, it is important for you to reaffirm your students’ capabilities and remind them of the academic support options that are available.

Encourage your students to meet their instructors early in each semester. They should take regular advantage of faculty office hours to get to know and seek help from professors, teaching assistants, or departmental undergraduate advisers.

Berkeley’s five undergraduate schools and colleges offer staff and faculty advising services to their students. By far the largest college is Letters & Science (L&S), with about 17,000 undergraduates. Its Office of Undergraduate Advising has a staff of about 40 to help students with course selection and planning, choice of major, progress to degree, evaluation of transfer units, and referrals.

Drop-in advising hours in the L&S advising office, 113 Campbell Hall, are 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. weekdays (subject to change). L&S peer advisers also offer drop-in advising a couple of evenings a week.

Scheduled appointments are held from 2 to 4 p.m. weekdays, also in 113 Campbell Hall. To schedule an appointment, students should call 510/642-1483 or go to 113 Campbell Hall to schedule in person.

Another advising option is available for students in the residence halls. L&S advisers assigned to each residential unit are available by appointment on selected weekday afternoons. These appointments also are scheduled at 510/642-1483.

One of the best advising tools for new students is “Finding Your Way” (, a comprehensive online program for first-year students in L&S. Its goal is to advise students about steps they can take to make their way through Berkeley and meet their academic and personal goals. For starters, students should take the L&S online advising tutorial, “Academic Orienteering.” The tutorial is on the “Finding Your Way” site.

In addition to the official avenues for advising, students often develop their own in the form of study groups in the residence halls. Peer tutoring is a legitimate learning tool and a good way to benefit from the ideas and interpretations of other students. It can often help to clarify concepts and information.

For comprehensive information about L&S advising, go to

The Student Learning Center

The Student Learning Center is an academic support service that offers tutoring and learning skills assistance, free of charge, to undergraduate students. Learning skills staff offer individual and group tutorial services as well as courses that focus on strategies for developing strong academic skills in a variety of subjects. These services are offered on a space-available appointment or drop-in basis. Spaces fill up quickly as the semester progresses.

Student Life Advising Services

Student Life Advising Services (SLAS) provides all students — with an emphasis on Educational Opportunity Program students — with academic, personal, financial, and advocacy services. Professionally trained staff help students develop problem-
solving and self-management skills. SLAS seeks to increase the number of low-income, first-generation students who graduate from Berkeley and to motivate and direct all students toward achieving academic excellence.

SLAS also administers various programs designed to help students achieve their educational and career goals. These programs include achievement awards, housing assistance, peer advising, schedule review, reduced study load, Summer Bridge seminars, emergency loans, and financial assistance.

Transfer, Re-entry, and Student Parent Center

The Transfer, Re-entry, and Student Parent Center (TRSP), a unit of the Division of Undergraduate Education, offers a broad range of academic support services to students who transfer to Berkeley from other institutions, who are returning to their course of studies, or are combining school with parenting. These programs serve an overlapping population of about 5,000 students. The center provides services and programs designed to enhance academic achievement and student life experiences.

Disabled Students' Program

The Disabled Students’ Program (DSP) is the unit of the University responsible for providing a wide range of Federal and State legally mandated services and accommodations for eligible students with verified disabilities. These services and accommodations are individually designed, and are based on the individual needs of students. If your students have visual, hearing, mobility, or physical disabilities, or learning or other non-apparent disabilities, they should contact DSP for complete information about available services.

Gender Equity Resource Center

The Gender Equity Resource Center (GenEq) is the campus center for managing services to women and to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) populations. Services focus on issues of gender and sexuality and their intersections with race, class, ability, and more. The center offers support and resources to enrich students’ time at Berkeley; provides a safe space for exploration and discussion of issues; promotes inclusion and celebrates difference; and provides leadership opportunities.

Athletic Study Center

The Athletic Study Center offers academic support services for Berkeley's student athletes. Services are designed to promote academic achievement through tutoring, study groups, computer labs, and academic advising.

Career Center

The Career Center educates undergraduate and graduate students about the career planning process, job searches, and strategies for gaining admission to graduate and professional schools. Additionally, the center promotes linkages among students, employers, alumni, and graduate and professional schools. The center serves as a comprehensive information resource for all career and employment opportunities. The major components of the Career Center are as follows:

  • employment services
  • information services
  • letter services
  • graduate and professional school program information
  • internship services
  • career counseling
  • Cal Connections
  • employer relations and recruiting
  • alumni career services.

For more information about the Career Center, go to or call 510/642-1716.

Legal Services

Students who are concerned about a legal problem or want information about legal rights and obligations are encouraged to call Campus Life and Leadership to make an appointment with the Student Legal Services attorney.

Ombudsperson for Students

The ombudsperson assists students who feel they are confronted with a bureaucratic impasse, have been treated unfairly, or need help resolving a problem. The ombudsperson acts as an impartial and independent “agent of justice” who, if the situation warrants it, investigates complaints and the conditions leading up to them.

All matters referred to the ombudsperson are held in the strictest confidence except when the ombudsperson perceives an imminent threat of serious harm.

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