Workshops for Engineering & Science Transfers (WEST) is designed to give students transferring from other institutions a jump-start on entering UCSC science and engineering majors. WEST fosters collaboration between students of different educational backgrounds and actively engages participants in the critical-thinking skills of research through hands-on workshops while helping build a community of STEM (Science,Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) transfer students. These 2.5 day workshops are held every year in September, just before the start of fall quarter classes.


WEST Participants:

  • Work closely with graduate students and postdocs in collaborative, hands-on workshops

  • Gain a deeper knowledge of science and engineering subject matter while learning valuable research skills

  • Are exposed to the different S&E disciplines on campus and current areas of research

  • Learn about navigating academics and attaining positions in research labs

  • Interact with UCSC faculty, graduate students, postdocs, and other members of our STEM community


WEST Outcomes: Outcomes from ISEE's WEST Program


WEST 2020 cancelled due to COVID-19

Past event: Click here to learn more about WEST 2019

Sampling of Previous WEST activity strands:

BioWEST participants have practiced scientific analysis and technical skills relating to cytogenetics, central dogma, and the discoveries of Watson and Crick.

EarthWEST combined diverse scientific disciplines such as physics, chemistry and mathematics to investigate the vast global processes affecting our earth, oceans and atmosphere.

EcoWEST explored how abiotic factors structure ecological communities. Based on actual field work in the UCSC forests and meadows, students experienced concepts, inquiry processes, and technical skills fundamental to the science and practice of ecology.

EngineerWEST engaged learners through the application of engineering methods to understand fundamental concepts in working with digital images. Students worked with digital encoding, spatial brightness and resolution, and evaluated trade offs to solve a real-world problem.

OceanWEST students planned and investigated their own short field study at Natural Bridges State Park. Using their observations they formulated hypotheses, collected data, and presented conclusions to their peers.


"WEST helped me make friends and laid a foundation of tools that I could use while I am studying at UCSC.; The experiments we did in class let us learn a tremendous amount about working in scientific groups, and allowed us to practice skills like analyzing, sharing, discussing and presenting scientific data. It was an amazing experience!"   


"Participating in WEST provided me with the invaluable faculty connections required for research experience at a UC. I was able to meet professors from multiple disciplines, network with my peers and work with graduate students, all the while earning a head start on the academic year. As a transfer student, I can see that attending WEST not only provided rewarding experiences, it also eased the transition process that all transfer students must endure. Thank you for the enriching opportunity! "  



"WEST was valuable to me for a few reasons. The first was just being able to network and meet other transfers. The majority of my friends at UCSC are people that I met in WEST. Since we were all going through the same adjustments, it was great having people to talk to throughout the year that understood what I was going through. It was also a great way to meet people that would be in some of my classes, and then have people that I could study with. We all share similar goals, so these are also people that I use as a sounding board for ideas  and cheer on in their endeavors. One of the other reasons WEST was valuable was in getting me ready for what the professors at UCSC expected. I learned how to think a little more critically and how to dissect journal articles. The skills from the WEST workshop gave me the confidence to approach and talk to my professors, instead of just being a person who filled the seat in lectures.”   




WEST is a program offered by ISEE, with funding from the UC Santa Cruz Division of Social Sciences, the Division of Physical & Biological Sciences, the Jack Baskin School of Engineering, and the Division of Graduate Studies.