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Frequently Asked Questions

The following are a list of frequently asked questions from across Student Affairs collected here in one place for your convenience. You can browse by topic/department or search by keyword.

Center for Student Advising, MTAC FAQ

For whom is MTAC intended?

MTAC is intended to help students at all levels achieve mastery. The program is open to students at Columbia College, School of General Studies, and The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science who are currently enrolled in BIOL C2005-2006/F2401-2402.

Who are the MTAC coaches?

MTAC coaches are current students who have already mastered the Contemporary Biology sequence, and who receive specialized and ongoing training in academic coaching strategies and methods.

How is MTAC different from tutoring or recitation?

The goal of MTAC is to complement, not replace, recitation sections and tutoring. Tutoring and recitation sections help students achieve mastery of course content, while MTAC emphasizes problem solving skills. Participating in MTAC is not a substitute for active recitation participation.

What should I expect from my MTAC group?

MTAC groups will be made up of CC, GS, and SEAS students working together to extrapolate key principles from lecture material and solve novel problems similar to those found on exams.

When and where do MTAC groups meet?

The specific details are still being worked out, but MTAC groups will be offered at a variety of times throughout the week, including morning, afternoon, and evening sessions. All meetings will take place on the Morningside campus.

What is expected of me as an MTAC participant?

The MTAC model works best when each member is prepared to participate actively in every meeting, every week. As such, if you accept a place in an MTAC group, you are committing to attending one 90-minute coaching session every week during the fall semester. If you miss more than two MTAC meetings, you will be asked to leave the program, so that another student can take your place.

Is it free for students to participate?

Yes, it’s free for students to participate, and the only materials necessary are those you will already have for the course.

Is MTAC endorsed by the Department of Biological Sciences and/or Professor Mowshowitz?

Yes, Professors Mowshowitz and Chasin have been actively involved in the development of the program.

How do I apply?

Please contact with questions about how to apply for the Spring 2015 semester. 

Whom do I contact with questions?

Please email with any questions or concerns, and a member of our team will respond as soon as we can.