As Berkeley Connect expands to multiple departments across campus, its basic structure remains consistent, while its content varies according to the needs of individual disciplines. Crucially, each academic department plans activities that fits its own disciplinary goals. Each department appoints a senior faculty member to direct its Berkeley Connect program. Working with other faculty members, the director designs the department’s Berkeley Connect content and selects and mentors the graduate fellows. Students enroll in the Berkeley Connect program related to their academic interests.
Berkeley Connect activities in each department includes:
- one-on-one advising: graduate fellows meet undergraduates individually;
- small group discussions: the fellows facilitate interactive discussions on a variety of topics related to a specific major;
- special events: including informal lectures by professors, panels on careers and graduate school, visiting speakers, and many other activities;
- visits to Berkeley resources: such as the Bancroft Library, the Berkeley Art Museum, and many others.
The great advantage of the Berkeley Connect model is that it uses the university’s existing resources and strengths to enrich the experience of undergraduates. The faculty who design and direct the program, and the graduate students who serve as mentors, are already in place. Indeed, because Berkeley Connect offers the university’s pool of superb graduate students a year of support, it enhances both the undergraduate and graduate programs at the same time. Berkeley also has an amazingly supportive base of alumni/ae, who have been eager to participate in Berkeley Connect by returning to campus to share career advice with students, by hiring our undergraduates as interns, and by being contact persons for students interested in particular careers.
For more about Berkeley Connect, see: