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Collaborative Study Sessions (CSS) are one of the best benefits of being in TIP! Sessions are facilitated by trained Course Assistants (CAs) – former TIP Scholars who have successfully completed the course to which they are assigned. Our CAs even attend your class’s lectures and discussion sessions alongside you to help with your questions along the way.

CSS is free and offered throughout the week for Scholars enrolled in BIO 311C/D, CH 301/302, and (Pre)CALC classes. The sessions are a non-judgmental space for students to come and ask for help, study with their peers, identify gaps in their knowledge, and try new learning approaches. Each session is split into two parts – the first hour is for facilitated review with problem set practice, the second hour is for continued practice and targeted questions.

CSS is not like tutoring – CAs are not there to merely help you find the correct answer. They are there to challenge you to work with your peers and apply the knowledge you’ve already learned in novel ways. Scholars are encouraged to come to CSS prepared and ready to: take ownership of their course material; think critically; problem-solve; make and learn from mistakes; collaborate; and share study strategies and academic resources.

By collaborating with your peers in CSS, you will have opportunities to actively test, refine and demonstrate your knowledge of critical course material. By participating regularly throughout the semester, you will walk away with valuable study techniques and critical thinking skills that will be applicable to other courses and learning contexts.


You can come into a session at any point in the studying process.  Maybe you haven't started your homework, you have a couple questions about the material, or you feel you've mastered the material and you just want to test your knowledge with your peers.  All we ask of you is that you come in ready to stay focused, be positive, and work collaboratively.


The role of a Course Assistant is to guide TIP Scholars to adopt effective study practices and to serve as a role model for academic success. Course Assistants are peer academic leaders whose primary role is to facilitate active and collaborative learning during Collaborative Study Sessions. Course Assistants do not teach or review the course material during Collaborative Study Sessions, as an instructor or tutor might do. Rather, they help students develop effective study and critical thinking practices, and challenge students to actively test, refine and prove their understanding of the course material through peer collaboration. In addition to facilitating Collaborative Study Sessions, Course Assistants also attend weekly course lectures, provide support during discussions, and collaborate with the instructor to promote student engagement and positive learning outcomes. 

 CA team total