Science Learning Community

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The Science Learning Community (SLC) is an exclusive program offered to first-year students pursuing majors in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) from Crown, Merrill, and Oakes Colleges.

What is the Science Learning Community?

Recognizing the increasingly rigorous requirements for science majors, Crown, Merrill, and Oakes Colleges developed an innovative program to support students who are interested in pursuing a major within any science, technology, engineering, and mathematics field of study. Supporting undergraduate students with the academic and social transition of entering a research university, as well as the high expectations of the STEM curriculum is key to the program. Research has shown that forming study groups in the sciences promotes collaborative learning and group problem solving, which are key to student success. Undergraduates within the year-long Science Learning Community program form a supportive group from the start, as they are housed in close proximity. Our program is designed for students who have a strong interest in science and look forward to working with others who feel the same.

To facilitate group learning, the participating Colleges teamed up with the campus Academic Excellence (ACE) program. Participating students enrolling in foundation courses may apply to the ACE Problem Solving Sessions for Chemistry 1A and 1B as well as Math 11A/11B, 19A/19B, or 23A in the Fall Quarter. The ACE Sessions are facilitated by a Leader and undergraduate Co-Leader, both who are committed to supporting the Science Learning Community.  

For more information about UCSC's award winning ACE Program, visit

SLC requires a commitment to success, a desire to pursue STEM major pathways, and the willingness to work hard! Recruitment starts in May/June for the following academic year, with a Fall quarter start.

What are the benefits of being an SLC member?

Science Learning Community members are able to build community within a cohort collectively working towards academic excellence within the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math major pathways. Statistics show that UCSC science and engineering students who participate in supplementary problem solving sessions, like those offered as part of the SLC, earn 6% more A grades and 7% more B grades in their supported foundation courses.

Contact Us

Ganga Harrison , ( 831)459-5212

    Crown College Academic Advisor & Science Learning Community Coordinator

Ashley Bratrude, (831)459-5283

    Academic Excellence Program (ACE) Coordinator 

SLC Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why are Learning Communities important?

Learning communities are able to provide the entering cohort with an established system of academic and social support throughout the rigorous curriculum of particular majors. The Science Learning Community is designed for first-year undergraduates pursuing sciences within the larger community of Crown College. 

  • What is ACE?

“ACE is an academic support program that is dedicated to increasing the diversity of UCSC students earning bachelor's degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. ACE is a community of scholars who strive for and commit to academic excellence.”

  • What are the Eligibility Requirements for Crown and Merrill’s SLC membership?

              ◦    Math Assessment (ALEKS PPL on Math Coach website)
 by deadline, or AP score placement, etc.

              ◦    Affiliation with Crown/Merrill College

              ◦    ACE participation
 (reapply each quarter!)

              ◦    Academic Advising 

              ◦    Checking in with the SLC Coordinator at least twice during the academic year is required.

  • What does SLC offer students? 

             ◦    Meet and mingle with other STEM students

             ◦    Receive supplemental support via ACE for gateway math and science courses

             ◦    Receive academic advising & establish strategies to be a STEM Scholar

             ◦    Join science table events to meet UCSC Faculty

             ◦    Receive preparation and support for Undergraduate Research

             ◦   Special STEM-related programs exclusive to Science Learning Community students

  • How do I join?

A) The Science Learning Community 2018-2019 recruitment has closed. Didn't get the outreach email? Email: for more information.

B) Students can still apply for ACE each quarter!

Application Timeline:

Application for 2018-2019 has closed!

  • How do I maintain my SLC membership for the full academic year?

             ◦    ACE Attendance 

             ◦    SLC Events Attendance (at least 1 each quarter)

             ◦    GPA minimum - 2.0 is required to maintain good standing

    • Checking in with the SLC Coordinator twice during the 2016-2017 academic year is required.

  • Who do I contact if I have questions?

Ganga Harrison , SLC Coordinator and Academic Advisor for Crown College or (831) 459-2040

Ashley Bratrude, ACE Coordinator or (831) 459-5283

See Also