Watson Institute at Brown University
Public Policy

Additional Support

Academic Support

Academic Coaching

The Dean of the College offers one-on-one academic coaching to discuss strategies and skills to help individual students succeed. Students meet with academic coaches, who are trained upperclassmen or graduate students, to gain study skills, identify learning styles, and ask questions. Students can sign up after shopping period ends.

Academic Support Group

The Dean of the College offers a bi-weekly meeting with a dean and other interested students to discuss challenges in classes and in their lives. This is a great resource for underclassmen having trouble adjusting to college life.

Academic Workshops

Weekly workshops cover topics related to study skills, personal development, and academic achievement. Past workshops have included topics such as taking good lecture notes, time management, and stress management. Sign up on Advising Sidekick on the Events module, or at the link above.

Advising Sidekick

Advising Sidekick, referred to as ASK, is the online portal where students can declare their concentration, find information on advising events, and find information on requirements for your Brown degree. Be sure to meet with Melissa (melissa_nicholaus@brown.edu) before visiting ASK to declare your concentration!

Brown University Library

At Brown, the Rockefeller Library (the Rock) and the Sciences Library (SciLi) are more than just convenient study spaces. Librarians are available to assist students with research, provide resources and guidelines for college level research, and accessing Brown’s many online databases. Many students who are having difficulty conducting research in a subject contact the specific librarian for that subject. While Public Policy does not have a specific subject librarian, the International Relations and Political Science librarian is Carina Cournoyer (carina_cournoyer@brown.edu, (401) 863-3581).

Curricular Resource Center

The CRC offers advising to support full engagement with the open curriculum. They offer programming and advising surrounding gap years, leave-taking, independent concentrations, independent studies, and sophomore peer advising. They are centrally located on the second floor of Faunce House.

Group Tutoring

Group tutoring is offered weekly for many introductory courses at Brown, generally in math, science, economics, and languages. Tutors are generally students who excelled in the class and meet with groups of students to go over concepts covered in class that week. Interested students may apply to small-group tutoring with more individualized attention. Tutoring occurs Sundays 2-10pm and Mondays-Thursdays 6-10pm.

**Note: the only Public Policy concentration requirement currently available for tutoring is ECON 1110.**

Individual Tutoring in Economics

Several graduate students are willing to tutor students in Economics for an hourly fee. Interested students should email tutors directly for more information. Please find the list of tutors on the Economics department website.

Meiklejohn Program

Every first year has a peer academic advisor called a Meiklejohn, to give a student perspective on academic life at Brown. However, each department also has a Meiklejohn to answer questions about the concentration.

The Writing Center

The Writing Center, located on the fifth floor of the Sciences Library, provides free individual and group writing support. The Writing Center is staffed by undergraduates and graduate students, and is open Sunday through Thursday from 3pm to 9pm. Be sure to ask your professor or check your syllabus to make sure you are allowed to receive Writing Center help on an assignment. Staff are trained to help with all sorts of issues in writing, from English as a second language to simple writer’s block. Make an appointment (at least five days in advance!) and find writing resources on the Writing Center website.

Student Support

BWell Health Promotion

BWell Health Promotion serves as a resource on campus for students to promote general health, sexual health, and answer questions about alcohol, drugs, nutrition and eating concerns, and sexual and dating violence. Their website contains information on many common illnesses and issues college students may face. BWell runs the SHARE program, along with the student-run Sexual Health Awareness Group (SHAG), free back and neck massages through the Brown University Relaxation Project (BURP). BWell also holds sexual assault prevention workshops through the Sexual Assault Peer Education (SAPE) program. BWell also has a registered dietician on staff.

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

Brown provides free short-term individual and group therapy to any student, along with crisis intervention services, psychiatric services, and referral to providers in the community. Many Brown students take advantage of confidential CAPS services. The CAPS website also has many available resources for students. After normal office hours, any Brown student can call (401) 863-3476 to reach trained ProtoCall counselors.

Financial Services - Dean Vernicia Elie

Assistant Dean of Financial Advising Vernicia Elie advises students on how to manage their finances. For very low-income students, Dean Elie can provide some emergency funds, short-term loans, and bridge other small financial gaps through a UFUNDS application. On UFUNDS, use the Emergency Funds, Curricular & Co-curricular Gap (E-Gap) Funds application: https://ufunds.brown.edu/

Health Services

Health Services provides primary medical care to all students. Students can make appointments for illness, referrals to specialists, or health education. Health Services sponsors the BWell Health Promotion office and Brown’s EMS program. There is also a 24/7 nursing hotline that students can call with any questions. There is no limit to how many appointments one can make. Learn more and set up an appointment on their website.

IT Service Center Loaner Program

The IT Service Center, located in the Center for Information Technology (CIT), can loan  Windows laptops, Mac laptops, webcams, video cameras, audio recorders, and projectors to students at no cost. Items can usually be checked out for one to three weeks. Many students use loaner laptops if their personal laptop needs repairs, or if they need audiovisual equipment to complete a multimedia project.

Office of International Student and Scholar Services

This office, located in the J. Walter Wilson building, serves as a hub for international student resources across campus. On their website, one can find information about working, campus life, semester breaks and summer, and academic and language concerns. Advisors in this office are always happy to advise international students, in addition to holding events and providing resources on their website.

SHARE (Sexual Harassment & Assault Resources & Education) Advocates

SHARE advocates are confidential resources that support students with experiences related to sexual assault, sexual and/or gender-based harassment, domestic/dating violence, relational abuse, and stalking. SHARE advocates also serve as on-call clinicians responding to the Sexual Assault Response Line. Advocates, located in the Health Services building, can help students navigate resources, assist in filing complaints, and provide emotional support. Friends and supporters of survivors are also welcome to make an appointment.

Student Support Services

The Office of Student Life offers assistance with personal and academic issues through the Student Support Deans. In a crisis, these deans can see a student the same day. Student Support Services can advise on medical leave and readmission as well as provide general support and problem-solving, but most students primarily use these deans to acquire dean’s notes, which are notes to professors asking for extensions or accommodations on a student’s behalf due to illness or other temporary extenuating circumstances. Many students use dean’s notes during their time at Brown.

Student and Employee Accessibility Services (SEAS)

Student and Employee Accessibility Services facilitates accommodations for students and employees with physical, psychological, and learning disabilities. Students should set up a meeting to evaluate their needs and accommodations. Temporary medical conditions are also covered, and SEAS has the capability to evaluate students for learning disabilities.

Title IX Office

The Title IX office handles accountability practices surrounding sexual and gender-based harassment, enforcing University anti-discrimination policy. Anyone who believes they may have been a victim of sexual and/or gender-based harassment should contact the Title IX office; even if someone does not wish to follow university accountability practices, the office can provide academic and social accommodations including No Contact orders. Students may also contact the 24/7, confidential Sexual Assault Response Line at 401-863-6000.