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 Office of the Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs and the Faculty of Arts & Science.

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 Arts & Science undergraduate students who have a GPA below 1.6 in their first term and who have opted-in to participate in the program.

The Faculty of Arts & Science will let us know if you are eligible to participate in the program in early January. 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 with a GPA of less than 1.6 after their first term. For first-year students with a GPA above 1.6, we will provide you with resources and services to help you get back on track academically. Please email the Program Coordinator at

Bounce Back is now open to students in the Faculty of Arts & Science, Engineering, Commerce and Nursing. For more information on the Engineering, Commerce and Nursing programs, click here.

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. We want to ensure that all students are getting the help they need. The Program Coordinator would be more than happy to meet with you to discuss options. 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 the Bounce Back Facilitator 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. Regular email contact is also encouraged to check-in and get help with quick questions.

The Bounce Back program begins in January. The program will run for up to 12 weeks in the winter term.

Bounce Back Facilitators will be matched to first-year participants and will contact participants by email to arrange the first meeting. The matching process takes approximately 5-7 business days.

At the first meeting, facilitators 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).

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 to all Bounce Back participants - ask your Facilitator 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