Office of the Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The Bounce Back program is coordinated by Student Academic Success Services (SASS) in partnership with:

The program matches first-year students with trained upper-year student facilitators who work one-on-one with participants to help them address the issues that have led to their academic difficulties in the first term. The facilitators work with participants to set goals for second term and develop strategies to help them achieve those goals. The program takes a holistic approach to student success.

The program focuses primarily on effective learning strategies (i.e. time management, essay and exam preparation, etc.) but is also attentive to other factors that can pose difficulties to first-year students (i.e. social adjustment, stress, mental health, etc.). 

Bounce Back participants are first-year undergraduate students who meet the eligibility criteria and who have opted-in to participate in the program.


Section 900 (J-Section) is designed to give those students who have academic difficulties in their first year in Applied Science a second chance at some of the courses thereby allowing the student to recover and proceed into second year with a clear record. It can also be used by students to improve their overall average and to retain scholarships.

Bounce Back is an academic support program for first-year undergraduate students in the Faculty of Engineering who acquire a GPA of less than 1.6 in their first term and is designed to help students who are struggling academically to get back-on-track. Students who opt-in to the program will be matched with a trained upper-year peer mentor (called a Bounce Back Facilitator) who will help them work on learning strategies (e.g. time management, study skills, and exam prep) as well as helping them to identify, and work through, some of the issues that students believe may have led to their academic hardships. Bounce Back does not provide subject-specific tutoring services.

First-year Engineering and Applied Science students may choose to opt-in to either Section 900 (J-Section) and/or Bounce Back. Section 900 (J-Section) involves students repeating their fall term Engineering courses, while Bounce Back helps provide you with the learning strategies and support to help you get back on track academically. Bounce Back is not a replacement for Section 900 (J-Section) however, Section 900 (J-Section) students are encouraged, by the Faculty, to participate in the Bounce Back program


Your faculty or school will let us know if you are eligible to participate in the program. All eligible students will receive an email from the Program Coordinator inviting them to participate. Once we receive a student's request to opt-in to the program, we will match them with an upper-year peer mentor. The peer mentor will reach out to students by email to set-up the first meeting.

Bounce Back's first priority will be to support first-year students who meet the eligibility criteria and who are at-risk of academic probation or of being required to withdraw (RTW). For first-year students with a GPA above those cut-offs, we would be happy to meet with you and to provide you with resources and services to help you get back on track academically. Please email the Program Coordinator at

Bounce Back is only open to first-year students.The transition from high school to university can pose significant and unique challenges for some first-year students and as such, transition support is a central element of the Bounce Back program. As an upper-year student you may be experiencing different challenges than your first-year peers. The Program Coordinator would be more than happy to meet with you to discuss alternate options, including the possibility of being matched with a mentor in the Peer Mentor Program. We can help you get back on track by connecting you with support services on campus that will best address your needs. Alternately, you could visit Learning Strategies or contact your undergraduate administrator for course-specific support.

The initial meeting with your Mentor will be between 30-60 minutes.

We encourage participants to meet with their facilitators on a weekly basis to better track their progress and to get the most out of the program. We have found that students who meet with their facilitator four (4) times or more tend to do significantly better than those who met only once or twice. However, the frequency of meetings is entirely up to you as the participant. Regular email contact is also encouraged to check-in and get help with quick questions.

Shortly after receiving your self-assessment questionnaire, the Program Coordinator will match Mentors and program participants via email to facilitate setting up the first meeting. The matching process take approximately 1-3 business days.

You can expect your first meeting to take place at a mutually agreed upon location on campus - this could be at a coffee shop or in one of the study rooms in Stauffer Library - whatever is most comfortable for you. At your first meeting, your Mentor will introduce themselves, talk about the mentoring relationship and program expectations. Participants will have the opportunity to talk about themselves, what they want to get out of the program and if there are any issues they’d like to address to help them develop goals and a learning plan.

All facilitators are fully trained and briefed on issues of confidentiality.

Your facilitator is there to help you address general learning skills and other issues that might be preventing you from achieving the academic success you’ve hoped for. Your facilitator will not be able to provide course-specific tutoring or proofreading but is well-versed in the existing services on campus and can direct you to appropriate supports.

Support for all students

Subject-Specific Academic Support Resource Guide. This cross-campus resource guide is a product of the 2013-14 Bounce Back program and is designed to support first-year student success (however, can also be used by upper year students).

Tutoring Support for Arts & Science Students

  • ASUS peer tutoring logoBounce Back has partnered with the Arts & Science Undergraduate Society (ASUS) Peer Tutoring to offer one free tutoring session and $5 off all subsequent tutoring sessions to all Bounce Back participants - ask your Mentor for more information at your first meeting!
  • ASUS Peer Tutoring partners upper year tutors with those looking for a tutor in a variety of Arts and Science courses
  • Sessions cost $15/hour (bursaries are available - please contact

Tutoring Support for Engineering Students

  • Douglas Tutorials are an optional free service to help you through first year. It is a service meant to cater to your needs providing for additional academic assistance. It is a service run by students, for students.
  • EngLinks is a service offered by the Engineering Society that supports students with one-on-one tutoring and course-specific workshops. For more information, contact:

Tutoring Support for Commerce Students

  • BrainTrust is a free-based tutoring service offered at the Smith School of Business. They are the Commerce Society’s prime source of academic support, providing one-to-one tutoring and exam review sessions for students in the Bachelor of Commerce program. For more information, or to sign up, contact: