The California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) acts as a hub for support and networking for SIMS students throughout their tenure at UCSB, beginning in their first Fall Quarter, when SIMS students meet regularly with peer advisors, program faculty, and staff. This interaction encourages them to use campus resources, participate in peer networks, and to begin research activity sustained through graduation. To nurture enthusiasm for research and interaction with faculty, the SIMS coordinator facilitates lab placements and funding for research opportunities for select freshmen and sophomore students during the academic year. Student researchers receive critical support from the “Practice of Science”, a two quarter course sponsored by the California NanoSystems Institute which provides an overview of the scientific process and helps students develop independent research projects, scientific presentations, and creative thinking needed for success in research science. A quarterly series, “Discussions with Faculty”, continues to engage these UCSB students with the larger scientific community and connects them with research scientists in casual settings. They pose questions about faculty expectations, about the science/engineering life, and managing graduate school and postdoctoral opportunities. The SIMS experience promotes the knowledge, skills, and social networking necessary for students to become competitive candidates for the workforce and graduate school.