Jumpstart Series

Doing well at Columbia involves highly developed academic skills—skills that are not always intuitive and that go beyond understanding the content of classes. To help Jumpstart your first semester at Columbia and get a clear understanding of what it takes to succeed, new students are invited to attend a week of workshops designed and run by the Academic Resource Center (ARC) to help build academic skills in context. 

These workshops may be taken by themselves or combined, and students are welcome to attend as many or as few sessions as they would like. The 2020 Summer Jumpstart Series will be held August 24 – 28, 2020.  While we hope to be able to deliver this program in person, we are actively pursuing contingency plans should public health guidance continue to encourage social distancing heading into the fall.  We will be in touch with all registrants later this summer with more information about what to expect and how we will proceed.

At Columbia, speaking the language of a text does not always guarantee that you will understand what it says. And even when you do understand, that does not always mean you can talk about it. Work with us to learn strategies for approaching difficult readings and engaging in class discussions, and get a head start on texts that have tripped up many intrepid readers in the past.

In this series, ARC staff will lead workshops on how to approach the many kinds of reading assignments you are likely to encounter, and how to prepare for and find your way through class discussions. As part of the workshops, we'll work through a reading list drawn from the hardest readings faced by first semester GS students. Conversations will be facilitated by staff and faculty, and will model the seminars and discussion sections you will soon join.

It is difficult to cultivate classroom skills in the abstract. To learn to take stellar notes, you need to know what you will be taking notes about, a good sense of the pace of lectures or discussions, and to know what you are expected to take away. That is where this series steps in. Preview a Columbia classroom run by GS staff and faculty, and get a head start refreshing and strengthening classroom skills.

In this series, ARC staff members will lead workshops on metacognition, note taking, exam preparation, and more. Each workshop will be followed by a lecture or lesson designed to put into practice what you have learned. And, each day will build on the lessons of the day before, so that you leave the week with a developed and integrated toolkit of classroom skills.

There is a science to learning science (and math) at high levels. Columbia teaches math and science at the highest of levels, and the learning curve—for mastering the content and the necessary learning strategies—can be steep. The ARC team has spent a lot of time studying the science of doing science, and we are excited to teach you what we have learned. Work with us to learn how to prepare for lectures, how to approach problem sets, the advantages of working in groups, and other secrets to success.

In this series, ARC staff members will lead workshops on the learning cycle of science courses, from readings to lectures to problem sets and exams. Each day will build on the lessons of the day before and give you a chance to put what you are learning into practice.

Not everyone was enrolled in a high school math class last year—and that’s okay. To help students review, refresh, and even learn for the first time the foundational math that will be expected in the Columbia classroom, the ARC team offers this online summer series. Beginning with basic algebra and moving through pre-calculus, we will work cumulatively and iteratively through the material to help prepare you for your first math and science classes at GS.

"All the Math" is designed on a student-paced, flipped classroom model. The ARC team will provide a curated online curriculum, one-on-one tutoring support, and academic coaching from trained tutors and staff throughout the summer. During Jumpstart Week, we will offer workshops giving you the chance to put what you have learned into practice, and see how the material is likely to appear in the Columbia classroom.


For more information and to register email gs-arc@columbia.edu.