Study Zone

Located within the Learning Center, the Study Zone is a quiet, low-distraction place to work. Students commit to spending at least three hours per week in the Study Zone and benefit from focus and accountability in their studying. By providing a productive location, personalized peer support, and even snacks, this informal study location will help students get past common barriers to turn their academic goals into reality.

For more information, please visit the Study Zone website.

Study Zone FAQs for Students

Where is the Study Zone located?

The Study Zone is located in The Learning Center (TLC) suite in Dewey Hall. If you are entering Dewey from the tunnels, you can access the Study Zone by turning to your left and entering the TLC main office (Dewey 1-154) during office hours of 8 AM to 5 PM. If you are coming from Dewey 1-101 or if you turn to your right after exiting the tunnels, you can turn toward the grey pillar in the hallway with the vending machines and continue through the door past the pillar to reach the TLC suite side entrance (on your left as you pass through the door), which is open during evening hours in addition to regular TLC office hours. Once you pass through this side entrance, you can find the Study Zone at the end of the L-shaped hallway that makes up the TLC suite on your right-hand side.

How do I apply to enroll in the Study Zone?

You can apply to enroll in the Study Zone online through the application page. Enrollment is on a first-come/first-served basis, and applications are usually open a week or so before the semester starts for early access.

When is the Study Zone open? Why are there no morning hours?

The Study Zone is open Sunday through Thursday from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. and on Friday from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. excluding holidays and finals week.

There are no morning hours because when we piloted them in a past semester, they were poorly attended. If you would like to advocate for the return of morning hours, please contact Kyle Trenshaw so that he can take your request into consideration for planning future semesters.

Where do I check in for the Study Zone?

You can check in at the Study Zone leader desk, which is located in Dewey 1-160D at the end of the L-shaped hallway that makes up The Learning Center (TLC) suite. If you enter the suite through Dewey 1-154, the staff at the TLC front desk can direct you back to the Study Zone to check in.

You cannot check in to the Study Zone at the TLC front desk, and you must check in at the Study Zone Leader desk in order to have your hours count toward the three-hour-per-week minimum.

When does the week start for the Study Zone's 3-hour-per-week minimum expectation?

The week starts on Sunday and ends on Friday each week. Weeks that include holidays are not counted in this expectation (e.g., fall break, spring break, Thanksgiving break, etc.), and any hours you attend during those weeks will usually be counted into the next week's expectation.

For example, the Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of the week of fall break would count along with the subsequent Sunday through Friday of the next week, giving you nine days to fulfill the expectation instead of just six that week.

Do I have to attend the Study Zone for three hours every day?

No, the three-hour-per-week minimum applies from Sunday to Friday each week of the semester, and the three hours can be made up of one large session or as many shorter sessions as work for your schedule in a particular week. There is no daily requirement.

Do I have to reapply to the Study Zone every semester?

Yes, we clear the enrollment at the end of each semester and reopen the application process so that as many students as possible get a chance to try the Study Zone and see if it works for them. However, if you have been enrolled in the Study Zone in a previous semester, you will receive an invitation to reapply the following semester before the general call for applications has gone out through campus communications.

How do study sessions in the Study Zone work? How do we set goals before and debrief after?

The Study Zone is staffed by Study Zone Leaders (SZLs) who will guide you through the process each time you visit the space. When you check in for a session, the SZLs will ask you a few questions about:

  • what you plan to work on,
  • how long you plan to study, and
  • any studying goals you have for the session.

Your responses to the questions will be added to your session report, which will be emailed to you for your reference after your session. When you have finished studying, the SZLs will follow up with you about your plans and goals and ask about any next steps for your studying to be included in your session report.

This process is designed to be judgement-free; the SZLs do not place any "ratings" or other value judgements about your session in your session report unless you supply them yourself (e.g., "I feel like I had a really great session!" or "I was pretty distracted today, so it did not go so well."). In fact, sometimes the sessions you feel are least productive have the most to teach you about your own study habits, and the SZLs will be there to help you process non-judgmental and be compassionate with yourself.

Can I check my phone with the Study Zone leaders before entering the main study space so that it does not distract me from my work?

Yes, what an excellent study habit! The Study Zone Leaders (SZLs) are happy to hold your phone at the check-in desk during your study session. Note that you may be asked to show your student ID card at check-out to receive your phone back in the case that the SZLs on shift have changed since you checked in.

Is collaborative/group study allowed in the Study Zone?

In general, the Study Zone is designed to a be a quiet space, so only silent collaboration, such as using a chat client or shared Google Doc, would be acceptable between students. If you are interested in joining other students for collaborative study in a particular course, please visit the Study Groups page to see if your course is supported this semester. If you would like to bring a buddy to the Study Zone, consider applying to be a part of the Study Buddy program this semester.

Is there a computer that I can use inside the Study Zone?

Yes, there is a desktop in the center of the room that is designated for student use. As long as it is unoccupied, you are free to use it.

Does the Study Zone have windows?

Yes, although the windows are shaded for most of the day and do not receive much direct sunlight.

In the Virtual Study Zone (offered online via Zoom), am I being recorded?

No, no part of the Virtual Study Zone is recorded on video or audio, not even the check-ins and check-outs. Further, all of The Learning Center services are completely voluntary and guaranteed to be confidential, so recording our student participants without their consent would violate those policies.

If I know that I will not be able to attend during a particular week, what can I do? Will I be unenrolled?

If you contact Kyle Trenshaw, he can note your situation in his records so that you do not receive a notification that you did not meet your three-hour minimum attendance requirement for the week. Additionally, you can "front-load" or delay your attendance by attending for six hours the week prior or afterward to ensure that you maintain your studying progress despite the disruption.

Kyle is always willing to find a flexible alternative to attendance during a particular week that fits your schedule and studying needs, so there is no need to stress about getting unenrolled due to travel or illness.

If I decide that the Study Zone is no longer working for me, can I unenroll from the program?

Yes, you can unenroll at any time by emailing us at studyzone@rochester.edu. Similarly, if you change your mind, you can reapply to the program at any time. However, later in the semester we sometimes have a waitlist for enrollment, so you may not always be immediately reenrolled depending on demand.

What is the difference between the Study Zone, Study Groups, and Tutoring?

While Study Zone, Study Groups, and Tutoring can all greatly benefit students, there are some notiable differences between them that might make one a better fit for you than the others:

  • The Study Zone is individual, generally applicable to any academic work, and study-skill-focused.
  • Study Groups are collaborative, course-specific, and content-knowledge-focused.
  • Tutoring is individual, course-specific, and content-knowledge-focused.

All students are welcome to participate in multiple programs with The Learning Center at the same time. 

Study Zone FAQs for Leaders

Who can serve as a Study Zone Leader?

While Study Zone Leaders are usually undergraduate students, we also have graduate student leaders on occasion. All of our leaders, regardless of where they are in their academic journeys, are trained to support anyone who enrolls in the program.

What is the time commitment for being a Study Zone Leader?

Study Zone Leaders (SZLs) can expect to work about five hours per week starting in the third week of the semester and running through reading period.

New leaders will also need to enroll in a one-credit training course (during their first semester serving in the position only). The training course, CASC 319, meets for 50 minutes each week through the semester and includes the regular amount of out-of-class work expected for a one-credit course.

Note that graduate students serving as new SZLs will need to pay tuition for the credit and cannot elect to be paid for their time taking the training course.

How can I apply to be a Study Zone Leader?

All open student employee positions with The Learning Center are posted through JobLink and advertised on our jobs page. We accept applications from rising sophomores through graduate students for the Study Zone Leader position. Look for postings in early November for spring-semester openings and early April for fall-semester openings.

What is the interview process when hiring for the Study Zone Leader position?

Like many other student employee positions with The Learning Center, the interview process is carried out with a group of applicants so that they can showcase their teamwork and communication skills.

When can I start work as a Study Zone Leader? Can I take the training course concurrently with working for pay in the Study Zone?

Generally, the Study Zone opens during the second or third week of the semester, and new Study Zone Leaders can start taking shifts as soon as they have received training on the fundamental logistics of the program (the first two to three lessons of the training course, CASC 319). The course is taken concurrently with working for pay, so there is no need to have completed the course in a previous semester.