As classes pick up in the second semester and students fall back into a routine of learning and applying, The Varsity is here to break down the different services available for students looking to work toward better academic results.

Academic counselling at the University of Toronto involves both group and individual strategies that aid students in strengthening their academic skills. From group study opportunities to workshops to individual meetings with specialists, the university offers its students a wide range of options to improve their academic skills.

Group study opportunities

Recognized Study Groups (RSG) are part of a program at U of T that encourages group studying. RSGs are small study groups with up to eight students enrolled in a specific course led by an RSG student leader. Through a workshop led by Sidney Smith Commons’ upper-year Study Group Assistants, RSG leaders get training on how to ensure the academic success of the group members.

Students can join an RSG through the A&S Online Services website, committing to an hour per week to study with peers. All members of the RSG review and study material together. After meeting several different expectations of RSGs — which include attending weekly RSG meetings, writing an end-of-term reflection, and more — students can get that work recognized on their Co-Curricular Record, an official U of T document that provides a record of a student’s extra-curricular involvement.

Academic workshops

There are numerous workshops available to U of T students that focus on developing and strengthening academic skills. Students can find many standalone workshops or workshop series for learning skills, university preparation, course correction, identity and learning, and more through the academic success calendar on CLNx

Workshops are led by a variety of experts, from instructors to learning strategists to academic mentors. Covering a wide range of topics, such as improving reading, writing, mindset, and time management, workshops are ultimately opportunities to listen to experts give academic counselling in a group setting. 

University Prep, for example, is a series of three workshops focused on preparing students academically for university learning. Students can access recordings of meetings and materials by enrolling in the University Prep course on Quercus and registering for a session. Students can earn Co-Curricular recognition if they participate in all three workshops and submit a reflection on what they learned.

One-on-one counselling

Meeting a learning strategist privately through booking an appointment is another way to get academic counselling. Learning strategists guide students by developing a tailored strategy plan to improve management skills and study techniques. 

Students can access meetings with learning strategists across UTSG by scheduling online via CLNx and booking online through several college and faculty systems. The Faculty of Arts and Science also offers drop-in sessions for students in the faculty at the Student Success Commons on Wednesday afternoons. 

At UTSC, students can access pre-appointments and same-day drop-ins through the Academic Advising and Career Centre by calling ​​(416) 287-7561. For UTM students, the university has a separate booking system to meet with learning strategists, with the option to meet online or in person, depending on the area of expertise.

Some other services to explore for academic counselling include tutoring, the Academic Success peer-mentor appointments, the Academic Success resource library, and Study Hubs. U of T lists these services and others on the Student Life Academic Success website.