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EEB Second-Year Learning Community

We are proud to offer a Second-Year Learning Community (SLC) for second-year students new to our programs.

The EEB SLC has replaced the EEB Peer Mentorship Program (EEB:PMP), which was active in the academic years 2018-19, 2019-20, and 2020-21 .

What are SLCs?

SLCs are small groups of second-year students who get together on a bi-weekly basis for useful and engaging activities that cover academic, developmental and career themes. Each SLC is facilitated by senior-year students with the support of staff and faculty advisors from EEB.

What will I do in my SLC?

SLCs provide you with insights into your discipline (e.g. what does an ecologist really do?) and the skills and learning opportunities you could pursue during your undergraduate program. You will meet with alumni, graduate students and faculty and visit workplaces and consider the multiple and changing career pathways related to your discipline and what might be the best fit for you. SLCs also create a space for you to continue to work on your school-life balance, as you build a network of friends and colleagues in your program.

Meet the EEB SLC Team

The 2022-2023 SLC will be led by Jacqueline McLean and Oriana Sully Monaco.

Jacqueline and Oriana are excited to share their EEB experience with second-year students. Their experience includes: research courses, Research Excursions Program, working in labs, research awards, and more!

Undergraduate and Student Outreach Coordinator Amy Huynh is the Staff Advisor.

Join the EEB SLC

Sign up will open in mid-July for 2022-2023.

To be eligible for the EEB SLC you must:

  • be a second-year student
  • be enrolled in any of the following programs:
    • Ecology & Evolutionary Biology (Specialist, Major)
    • Biodiversity & Conservation Biology (Major)
    • Environmental Biology (Major)
    • Quantitative Biology (Major)
    • Biology (Specialist, Major), with majority of courses being EEB-related
  • be available during our SLC timeslot: Friday afternoons 12pm-1:30pm


Check out this article on U of T News to hear about what students have to say about the program!

“My greatest area of learning in this program has been learning from my mentee. I went into the program thinking that the mentor would mostly be “helping” the mentee. However, I found the meetings were informative for both myself and the mentee. I would approach a future mentorship/relationship with this in mind.”

– Mentor

“I learned that what is most useful in a mentor-mentee relationship is simply telling stories and sharing life experiences. This sharing of stories also helped build friendship and trust between me and my mentee.”

– Mentor

“I learned that EEB is a very useful and flexible program that can be applied to a lot of different opportunities and life skills! While my mentor and I have very different ideas in mind of how we will use our EEB education, we were able to connect on so many points and it was cool to see how EEB can be so applicable to a wide variety of careers.”

– Mentee

I am so grateful for all the advice and peer support I gained from the EEB SLC program. The mentors made my second-year much more approachable through open conversation about their experiences and also fun activities. Due to the mentors’ and my fellow mentees’ support, I gained the confidence to apply and achieve a summer research position! I also learned so much more about the vast web of opportunities and courses the EEB program provides. For anyone considering joining, there is so much to gain from this community!

– Mentee

“The best part of the EEB SLC program is that we got to explore diverse options of future careers for EEB students, make proper plan for my undergrad, and learn strategies to find various opportunities within the department. I have applied what I learned to find research opportunities and choose what I want to pursue in the future. It is also a valuable chance to have fun (i.e., playing games, decorating plant pots, visiting the growth facilities) while building a network of my EEB peers! I would highly recommend it to friends.”

– Mentee

“I think the most important thing I learned with the program was to think strategically about my undergrad (i.e courses, work-study, volunteering) and how I want them to help me in the future. I’ve applied this learning for choosing what I want to pursue in the summer as well as research opportunities.”

– Mentee

Being in the EEB SLC this past year was a fantastic opportunity to meet other EEB students. It was so helpful being able to hear about and better understand course selection, research opportunities, internships and many other EEB-related opportunities. Getting recommendations from our mentors, as well as, meeting and hearing from other current and graduated EEB students was both useful and reassuring that I’m on the right path..”

– Mentee

Photo by Nicholas Ypelaar