Academic Support Services

What did you do that no one made you do?

This is the most important question for candidates need to answer at interviews, according to every industry leader we have spoken with. What did you do that was above and beyond simply attending class and doing the minimum work required? Your answer to this question demonstrates your commitment, motivation, passion, work ethic, problem solving skills, teamwork skills and positive attitude, all qualities that make you stand out in applications to industry or graduate school.

Above and Beyond 20+ Hours per Week

To support and facilitate the development of an excellent answer to this question for each individual student, School of Computing & Design gives you support and space to become part of a learning community and go above and beyond:

To achieve maximum results, we believe students MUST work 20+ hours a week beyond class time on their academic and personal growth! Go Above & Beyond!

Find out more about our academic support activities below and visit this page regularly for updates. Write to us at cs@csumb.edu if you have any questions or suggestions.

Academic Resources | Tutors and Study Space

Tutor Support

You have access to support from tutors for your major and general courses. Below is a list of some support services on campus. You can learn more about general tutor support by checking out the Collaborative Learning Center. They are located next door at Tanimura & Antle Library, 2nd floor (room 2125). If your CST course has a TA, you also have access to their (or other TA) office hours.

Computer Science and Communication Design Support (TA++)

All TA++ office hours are held in BIT 230 or BIT 202. For TA office hours schedule, click here.

TA Office Hours

Writing Support (Collaborative Learning Center)

Option One: Drop-in writing support (no appointment necessary) Option Two: One-on-one 50-minute appointment with a writing tutor Option Three: Online writing tutoring
Mondays and Wednesdays, 1:00p - 3:50p, Fridays, 11:00a - 2:50p, Sundays, 4:00p - 6:50p Schedule online: csumb.edu/clc, Call: 831.582.4104, Visit: Tanimura & Antel Library, Second Floor Suite 2125 Visit csumb.edu/clc/online-tutoring, Upload your paper for feedback, Receive an email response from a writing tutor, Turnaround time usually 24-48 hours

Math Support (Collaborative Learning Center)

For Math 100, 115, 130, 150, 151, 170, 250 tutoring hours, click the button below. You can make an appointment one of the three following ways mentioned below.

  • Call: 831-582-4104
  • Email: clc@csumb.edu
  • Walk-in: Library, 2nd floor
Math Tutor Hours

Study Space

To support student success and community in the department, space in the BIT building has been dedicated for students studying computing. The rooms are available, except in the rare case when there is an activity scheduled. Please note that this room can become very full. In that event, small study groups can move to find space in the BIT lobby areas or library.

Room Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
230 7:30a - 7:00p 7:30a - 10:00p 7:30a - 7:00p 7:30a - 10:00p 7:30a - 10:00p
202  7:30a - 10:00a, 2:00p - 6:00p, 8:00p - 10:00p 7:30a - 12:00p, 2:00p - 10:00p 7:30a - 10:00a, 2:00p - 6:00p, 8:00p - 10:00p 7:30a - 12:00p, 2:00p - 4:00p, 6:00 - 10:00p 7:30a - 12:00p, 2:00p - 10:00p, 

We hope these pre-reserved spaces promote a consistent investment in studying and the formation of study groups among our students. We encourage you to study in these locations in order to get ahead in classes, meet other computing students, and get help from TA++s.

Request Study Space

  • Reserve a group study space at the library here.

ABCs |Professional Development Workshops and Job Opportunities

ABCs, short for Above and Beyond Computer Science, is a weekly professional development workshop offered every Fridays 2-5pm in Library 1188. All sophomore, junior and senior students are strongly encouraged to attend this workshop. In our experience, students who participate in ABCs have a significantly higher chance of getting internship and job offers. Hiring organizations and friends from industry (including Facebook, Google, Pixar, Quizlet, Salesforce, Uber and VmWare) will be invited to present, conduct a mock and real interview during this time. The workshop is sequential (resume writing -> applying -> interview prep), so you will derive the most benefit if you attend consistently.

We will start by completing problems in the Programming track of InterviewBit. Additional resources related to ABCs will be provided through this iLearn module.

Also, check out the Opportunity Board for ideas on where to apply for internships, research experiences for undergraduates (REUs), camps, and other ways to increase your employability. This list is not comprehensive, but it should give you a starting place for your search.Are you interested in learning about more opportunities? Join CS-You-Monterey Slack workspace and join the #internship-jobs channel.

Student Resources |Hardware and Software

The School of Computing and Design provides certain software to its students. To obtain this software please fill out the request form below. Communication Design students may access the department's large format printer for their class projects.

Request Form for Software

The CSUMB Information Technology department also makes some software available for students for free or discounted prices.

TA++ | Teaching Assistant Program

TA++ is the School of Computing and Design's teaching assistant program, where a student who has successfully taken a course will be hired to not only assist the professor but also support student learning. TAs help by attending the class lectures and/or labs, grading, and holding review sessions and drop-in office hours.

Mission and Vision

TA++ Mission: TA++ Members are relentless about helping computer science students meet their course learning outcomes in a way that is proactive, positively empowering, and professional.

TA++ Vision: Every student who has a TA++ member as a TA will feel well supported to understand the course material.

TA++ Alumni Testimonials

Sean McCarthy, Software Engineer, Salesforce

Being a member of TA++ since the early days of the program, I’ve had an awesome experience watching the program evolve to its current state. During my time in TA++ I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know many students in the CS department. Getting to know so many students and helping them understand key Computer Science concepts like Data Structures and Algorithms has certainly been a rewarding experience for me. I credit my experience as a TA++ with helping me grow professionally as well. Being a TA++ has given me marketable skills for applying to internships and jobs. Most notably, TA++ has helped me develop my ability to communicate well with others by helping me polish my ability to explain programming concepts. Additionally, TA++ has granted me an opportunity to get to know CS faculty better than I could’ve as a normal student, which I have valued highly when seeking internship and job opportunities for after college.

Laura McRae, Software Engineer, Chan Zuckerberg Initative

TA++ has been a huge part of my college career and has helped me bridge the gap between academia and my professional career. When you go out into the real world, one of the top things companies are looking for is for you to be able to communicate with and teach others. TA++ has helped me excel in all those areas. I started this program after my first programming course, and it has made me a better computer scientist because of it. Not only did I make great connections with professors and faculty, but I also made relationships and gained experience by interacting with hundreds of students from all areas of CS.

Abraham Medina, Software Engineer, Uber

One of the most impactful experiences I have had during my college career has to be my time in the TA++ program. I entered the program in the final semester of my senior year as a TA++ for CST 334: Operating Systems (4 units). This opportunity not only gave the me chance to spread the academic knowledge I had on the subject matter, but also gave me the chance to make connections with peers that I otherwise wouldn’t have met, develop stronger relationships with instructors and TA++ staff, and to generally improve my communication skills. Not only was this experience enjoyable, but I would say it even matured me to where this became an effective bridge from my academic life into my industry life. Being part of a program like TA++ is something I highly recommend to all students, it helps you see what aspects about yourself are already strongly developed and gives you the opportunity and support to further improve weaker aspects. Thanks to the TA++ program I feel like an extremely capable engineer and have the experiences to back it up.

TA duties and responsibilities

  • Depending on the course, a student can work either 5-20 hours a week for one or more sections. Usually, however, most TAs work 10 hours a week. You can see a detailed break down of this semester's hours worked per week here.
  • The tasks also vary depending on who their paired professor is. Weekly tasks usually include, but aren't limited to: attending lecture/lab, holding review sessions, holding office hours, being available on Slack/Email, and grading. Some TAs may even update iLearn, substitute for their paired professor, or assist their professor with things like developing grading scripts or rubrics.
  • Core TAs (CST 231: Problm-Solving/Programng (4 units), 238, 334, 338, 370) hold review sessions before every course exam.
  • Depending on your TA status, your training schedule will look different, however, each TA is required to attend regular training. See below for the training break down. Trainings will be decided after we hire everyone. We will pick a date that works for everyone.
New TAs Core TAs Veteran TAs
Description These are TAs whose first time it is being a TA. These are TAs who TA for CST 231: Problm-Solving/Programng (4 units), 238, 334, 338, and 370.  These TAs have been a TA in the TA++ program at least once and have gone through the New TA training modules. 
Training Frequency Weekly Training for 10 weeks plus each monthly All Hands Meeting all semester.  Bi-weekly training for 10 weeks plus each monthly All Hands Meeting all semester. Monthly for the entire semester
Training Type New TA Training Modules  Review Session Planning and Practice All Hands Meeting

How do I become a TA?

1) Verify that you qualify

  • You must have taken CST 238: Introduction to Data Structures (4 units) by the end of the semester you apply (we may still consider you if this is not true)
  • You must have a 3.0 GPA or above, as well as an A (preferred) or B in the course you want to TA for.
  • Believe in the mission and vision!

2) Apply for the course(s) you're interested in TAing for

You only need to fill out one application even if you're interested in applying to more than one course. If you are currently a TA and you are interested in applying to a different course than the one you are currently a TA for, please fill out an application (and interview). Take a look at the list of TAs we are currently hiring for and apply below!

View list of needed TAs Apply here!

3) Schedule an interview

There are two interviews: Interview part one and interview part two. Part one is 30 minutes and is required for anyone who is interviewing. Part two is 15 minutes, which is only for students applying/interviewing for CST 231: Problm-Solving/Programng (4 units), 238, 334, 338, and 370. You only need to interview once even if you are applying to multiple courses. Below is a link to an interview calendar (which will be available during the interviewing season), for you to book. Each slot is in 15-minute intervals.

If you are applying to CST 231: Problm-Solving/Programng (4 units), 238, 334, 338, and 370, please book three of these intervals. If you are applying for a different course, just book two intervals.

Book Interview

Interview Format

Applications for the Fall of 2019 will begin April 2nd, 2019. Interviews will take place April 8th - April 26th. Best of luck and feel free to reach out to existing TAs to ask them for interview tips!

Part one Part two 
A. Course Fit (15 min). This will be partly behavioral and partly technical. We will asses whether you know the course fundamentals, have communicated your interest to the course professor, and understand why you want to TA for this course.  The fundamental questions will mostly be conceptual questions with minimal coding required.  A. Sample Teach (5 min) You give a 5 min teaching presentation on a topic of your choice. The presentation will review a non-trivial topic from 231 or 238, as if you were presenting the topic to your students. You will have a whiteboard and markers available, but not a projector.
In case you’re unsure what topic to cover, we have compiled a list of sample topics to inspire you:
• Boolean expressions and short-circuiting
• Nested for loops
• Pointers
• Dynamic memory
• Recursion
• Linked list basics
• Traversing a binary tree
Keep in mind that the amount of preparation that you do will help you greatly. Here are some resources that we think will help you out:
• Some basic teaching tips, including tips on body language: https://web.stanford.edu/group/SLIP/TIPS/Teaching.html
• Stanford Section Leader interview advice: http://youtu.be/u7FXYuBP4tA
• Gayle McDowell gives a good presentation and uses the whiteboard well in this video about software engineering interview questions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aClxtDcdpsQ
B. Culture Fit (15 min) This will be purely behavioral where we will asses your interest in the TA++ Mission and how you would react in certain situations. Being a TA is more than just knowing the course content, so we want to make sure to hire the right person! B. Technical Competency. We will ask you a technical coding question and build upon it to assess your problem-solving ability. 

Fall 2019 Interview Timeline

  • April 2nd - Applications open
  • April 8th - April 26th - Interviews
  • April 30th - Students who interviewed receive an offer letter (by end of day) and need to accept by Friday, May 3rd
  • May 6th - New TA/End of the semester party in BIT 105 @ 9AM - 10AM
Spring 2018 TAs