ACE UCLA | Critical Strategies to Achieve Undergraduate Excellence for Incoming Freshmen
Fall 2019 - I took this class as part of the First Years Scholar Program and we met twice a week. The first day (the day assignments were due) we met with Dr. Gabra and the second day we met in a different location for a workshop facilitated by peer mentors or representatives from campus resources. Dr. Gabra was an amazing professor for this class, it was clear that she enjoyed teaching it. She was also extremely successful at facilitating an intimate class atmosphere where all students felt comfortable talking to her and their peers. One small detail that I found admirable was that she never pressured students to speak in class but at the same time, as someone who is typically very reserved, I felt comfortable answering her questions and sharing my thoughts. The class assignments entailed a few short readings almost every week, 5-6 one-page self-reflections based on class/reading topics, and the final assignment was a simple E-Portfolio. These were not difficult to complete whatsoever. Honestly, I did not do all of the readings but the ones I read were very interesting. So, I would advise you to at least read the shortest one for that week to generate some thoughts you can share in class. Now, the workshops. They were helpful but I felt that they lasted longer than necessary. However, our peer mentors were very friendly and excellent people to look to for advice about anything college-related. Aside from completing the assignments and contributing to the class, my biggest point of advice would be to interact with your classmates! Rarely will you have a class that encourages you to share your story, interests, and aspirations with others -- take advantage of it.