MSI Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I get both MSI and tutoring services?
  2. Why should I go to MSI?
  3. What can I expect from an MSI session?
  4. When does MSI start?
  5. When/Where is MSI held?
  6. How are MSI times selected?
  7. What if I miss the in-class announcement?
  8. Do I have to go every week?
  9. Does MSI happen during finals week?
  10. How do I find out about an exam study session?
  11. How are classes that MSI supports chosen?
  12. Are MSI sessions permanently canceled?
  13. If I need more help, what other services does Learning Support Services offer?
  14. How do I contact the Learning Assistant?
  15. How do I find out more information about the Learning Assistant?
  16. Who are the Learning Assistants?
  17. How do I become a Learning Assistant?

1. Can I get both MSI and tutoring services?

There is limited tutoring for MSI Supported Classes. The Modified Supplemental Instruction (MSI)/Tutoring Learning combination is available for students who regularly attend MSI and also want tutoring. In order to access tutoring complete the following process.
  1. Attend MSI weekly throughout the quarter.
  2. Complete the Tutor Request Form. 
  3. Have the MSI Learning Assistant sign the Tutor Request form.
  4. Return the Tutor Request Form to the ARCenter, room 221.
  5. Register on the On-line Tutor Signup System (OTSS)
  6. Ask an LSS staff person to make OTSS tutoring available to you.
  7. If approved, sign-up for a subject tutor on OTSS.

2. Why should I go to MSI?

MSI is guaranteed study time. The Learning Assistant received a grade of B or better in the class. He/She facilitates the group but focuses on assisting students to answer the questions themselves. Students who attend MSI 4 or more times are much more likely to not only pass the class but are more likely to receive a higher grade than students who do not attend MSI. MSI also gives you a chance to get to know others in your class in a relaxed environment.

3. What can I expect from an MSI session?

The Learning Assistant received a grade of B or better in the class. He/She facilitates the group but focuses on assisting students to answer the questions themselves. Students who attend MSI 4 or more times are much more likely to not only pass the class but are more likely to receive a higher grade than students who do not attend MSI. MSI also gives you a chance to get to know others in your class in a relaxed environment.

4. When does MSI start?

MSI generally starts during the second full week of the quarter. The actual start time is the first session after the announcement is made in class.

5. When/Where is MSI held?

MSI Sessions are located in various locations across campus including the Academic Resource Center (which is located between McHenry Library and the Music Center) and Oakes Learning Center. You can find the times and locations of available MSI sessions by checking the complete schedule found at eop.sa.ucsc.edu/msi/msischedule.cfm and clicking on the class. Sessions for Sign-Up Only courses will have their locaations removed from the schedule shortly after they are announced in class.  Students who wish to attend these sections after the beginning of the quarter are encouraged to reach out to their Learning Assistant to see if there is available space. 

6. How are MSI times selected?

A survey is done in class during the first few days of the quarter. The most popular times and widely distributed times are chosen.

7. What if I miss the in-class announcement?Group of students

You can go on-line to eop.sa.ucsc.edu/msi/msischedule.cfm and click on the class.

8. Do I have to go every week?

For most classes, weekly attendance is not required; although, students tend to get the most benefit from the MSI sessions if they attend weekly or at least 4 times during the quarter. For some courses, MSI may have a sign-up procedure that will require you to sign-up for and attend a specific session each week.

9. Does MSI happen during finals week?

No, unless there is a exam study session scheduled. The last MSI sessions for the quarter are held during the last week of instruction.

10. How do I find out about an exam study session?

MSI exam study sessions are limited to those who have come to MSI at least once before. The Learning Assistant will announce the study sessions during MSI sessions and an email may be sent to students who have attended sessions.

11. How are classes that MSI supports chosen?

The classes are usually large (over 50) entry-level lower and upper division courses. The courses have generally proven to be difficult for many students. Professors can also request to have MSI support for their course.

12. Are MSI sessions permanently canceled?

MSI sessions are permanently canceled if attendance is low. If you want the services to continue for the class, you must attend MSI.

13. If I need more help, what other services does Learning Support Services offer?

If a course is supported by MSI you must attend MSI first. If you would still like to receive additional tutoring support, please contact Learning Support Services at 459-4333.

14. How do I contact the Learning Assistant?

The Learning Assistants are in every lecture, so you can talk to them there. They generally sit near the front and in the same spot every time. Or, you can e-mail them. Go to eop.sa.ucsc.edu/msi/msischedule.cfm and click on the class. The e-mail is located at the bottom of this page. (Please note that MSI Learning Assistants may or may not answer questions sent by e-mail.) Of course, the best place and time to talk with them is during the scheduled MSI sessions.

15. How do I find out more information about the Learning Assistant?Roomates

You can go on-line to eop.sa.ucsc.edu/msi/msischedule.cfm and click on the Learning Assistant's name. Here you will find a picture, his/her person statement, the times and locations of MSI, as well as his/her e-mail address.

16. Who are the Learning Assistants?

The Learning Assistants are undergraduates who have previously taken the course and received a grade of B or better. All Learning Assistants have been recommended by a professor and many are hand picked by the professor who is currently teaching the class.

17. How do I become a Learning Assistant?

In general, the professor recommends students. If you are interested, you should let your professor know. You must have received a B or better in the class and currently be in good academic standing. We generally start to hire for the next quarter in the last few weeks of the previous quarter. Please see Student Job Listings for more details.