How to Succeed
Our goal is to help you learn effectively in science and mathematics classes at California State University Long Beach. While we provide academic advising, other services on campus are available to help you find academic support, get involved, take care of your health, and find career guidance.
One of the most impactful ways you can affect your academic studies is to develop a growth mindset--the belief that you can grow your abilities through dedication and hard work.
Growth Mindset and Productive Persistence
Recent research in educational psychology shows that you can get smarter in any subject by studying effectively just like you can get stronger by exercising regularly. This concept, known as brain plasticity or neuroplasticity is the key to your ability to learn science and math.
The idea of embracing challenging tasks and understanding that you can grow your intelligence by productive and deliberate practice is known as growth mindset. Research shows that students who exhibit growth mindset are significantly more likely to enjoy long-term academic success. We encourage you to spend 10 minutes watching an excellent TEDx talk by Eduardo Briceño, who shows how your own understanding of intelligence and abilities can become key to your success.
Science and math classes are purposefully challenging. You will be required to apply your knowledge to solve new problems, to come up with original ideas, and to master basic principles so that you can apply them in more complex situations. Sometimes your classes will be very difficult and you might struggle with the material. This struggle is normal – your brain actually "grows," forms new connections, and gets stronger precisely because you are exposed to a new and challenging learning environment.
Seek Academic Support
Coming to academic advising on a regular basis helps to ensure you are taking the right classes at the right time. You are entering a new environment and subject to its many policies and procedures; an academic advisor can help you navigate through this new territory.
Quick questions can be answered during CNSM Academic Advising Center drop-in hours. For more complex questions, pre-majors can schedule an appointment to meet with their pre-major advisor, and fully declared majors can meet with their major advisor.
The greatest misconception about tutoring is that it is only for failing students or students who lack ability. The reality is quite the contrary: all students can benefit from tutoring. Even if you aren't struggling with any particular class, tutors can help you become a more efficient learner.
Tutors can help you:
- review before a test
- discover new and more efficient study skills and time management strategies
- solidify your understanding of a particular concept or problem
- review exam results and missed homework problems
- build your confidence in a subject matter
There are several free tutoring programs on campus at CSULB. The Jensen SAS Center offers free tutoring in math and science with their SAS Peer Mentors and Physics Learning Assistants programs. The SAS Peer Mentors program offers tutoring in a variety lower- and upper-division courses. The Physics Learning Assistants offers tutoring focused on physics and math courses. Additional tutoring programs are also available from other centers on campus.
Participation in the campus community will provide you with opportunities to meet new people, gain leadership experience, and further your educational and extracurricular interests. CSULB has more than 300 recognized student organizations. Your involvement in these groups will contribute to a more well-rounded campus life experience and help develop your resume and skillset for your future career path:
Some clubs and organizations require greater participation. Be sure to understand the time commitment you are making--excessive commitments could negatively impact your academic studies.
Take Care of Your Health
While you are balancing your academic, social, and work commitments, it is easy to forget that your body and mind need maintenance too.
Student Recreation and Wellness Center
Working out is definitely not just for athletes, as everyone can gain from the benefits that exercise promotes, such as mood improvement, better sleep, and boosted energy. CSULB has a 126,500 square-foot, state-of-the-art Student Recreation and Wellness Center, which free to all currently enrolled CSULB students.
If lifting weights is not your thing, try out the climbing wall, take a yoga/meditation class, enroll in their healthy eating program, or learn about stress management and biofeedback. If you are into team sports consider the extensive intramural leagues/tournaments in which you can participate.
Meditation can help with stress management. The multitude of videos available on YouTube make this an activity you can try anywhere. One that helps us is Meditation for Anxiety (VIDEO).
Student Health Services
The Student Health Services on campus provides medical services, preventative health, and health education programs to CSULB-enrolled students.
Counseling and Psychological Services
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is available to CSULB students needing help to solve personal challenges associated with identifying and accomplishing academic, career, and life goals. Free services include: short-term counseling, group counseling, career development counseling, referral services, psychoeducational workshops (such as self-esteem, relationships 101, test anxiety, dating violence, and public speaking anxiety) and crisis intervention.
Science and math classes are purposefully challenging. You will be required to apply your knowledge to solve new problems, to come up with original ideas, and to master basic principles so that you can apply them in more complex situations.
CNSM's Resilience Project focuses on personal stories from science and math undergraduates detailing their struggles, their successes, and what they learned along the way. The goal of this project is to show our current CNSM students that you are not alone in your struggles and that there are multiple paths towards recovery and resilience. Resilience is your capacity to tolerate disturbance without collapsing, to withstand shocks, to rebuild yourself when necessary, and to improve yourself when possible.
Seek Career Guidance
If you already know what career you'd like to pursue, the career centers on campus can assist with resume building, interview preparation, internships, and skill development. If you don't yet know what career you'd like to pursue, these same career centers can introduce you to the wide range of careers may not have considered.
Health Professions Advising Office
The Health Professions Advising Office (HPAO) offers advising throughout the year for CSULB students and alumni considering professional training in healthcare. HPAO advises students at all stages of the health professions planning process, from career exploration through the interview.
Career Development Center
What are your strengths and talents? Which work environment best suites your personality? What do you hope to achieve through your education? Getting help answering these questions is the purview of the Career Development Center (CDC), whose mission is to guide students through the process of educational, career, and personal discovery in preparing them for success in the global workforce.
The CDC can also help you find a job on campus or in the surrounding community, develop a professional resume, gain experience through college internships, help with deciding on a graduate program, and even help you apply for a U.S. passport so you can participate in a study abroad program. They offer informative workshops and career fairs during the year.
Thrive Event Series
Don't just survive... thrive! Attending a college or university will lead to a career in which you can succeed and love what you do. But school is so much more than sitting in class and listening to lectures! The Thrive Event Series offers opportunities to College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (CNSM) students for skill building in academic, professional, and personal development. Here you will find free events and workshops from a variety of CNSM and campus services.
- Tutoring and Peer Mentoring
- Professional Development Workshops
- Growth Mindset Hub
- Study Skills
- Study Strategies for Science Students
- How to Study Math, Science and Engineering
- Effective Study Techniques (PDF)
- The Nitty-Gritty of Effective Studying (PDF)
- How to Study Effectively (VIDEO)
- Academic Grit (VIDEO)
Contact CNSM Advising
Please include your student ID number in all email correspondence.
- Mon: 9:00am-12:00pm
- Tue: 3:30pm-6:30pm
- Wed: 12:00pm-3:00pm
- Thu: 1:00pm-4:00pm
Online: CNSM Advising Zoom Room, Zoom room ID: cnsmadvising
On-campus: Hall of Science (HSCI) - Room 164
Students will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis by a limited number of advisors. Availability is subject to change: see Announcements on CNSM Advising.
Academic Advisors will have both online and on-campus availability for 30 minute advising appointments. Please see our Appointment Guide regarding on-campus advising appointments.