What is TIP Scholars?
The TIP Scholars program is an academic community for students admitted to the College of Natural Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin. This two-year program aims to provide the benefits of a small college atmosphere while challenging students to take advantage of the opportunities offered at a large research institution.
Since 1999, the TIP Scholars community has been providing an environment that supports a successful transition from high school to college, supporting strong high school students to continue their excellence as strong college students. The TIP Scholars program creates this robust academic community with:
- Linked enrollment in typical first-year courses so Scholars get a jumpstart on connecting to lifelong friendships.
- Reserved seats in a balance of small and large core, entry-level classes to keep Scholars on track to graduate in 4 years.
- Highly effective peer mentors, course assistants, and peer academic advisors to help Scholars acclimate during their crucial first year.
- Invested academic advisors who will help Scholars navigate their degree plans and future directions.
- A centrally located office with a dedicated student space and resources to make TIP their home away from home.
Who are TIP Scholars?
TIP Scholars represent a diverse array of academic interests and career goals. TIP Scholars are exceptionally motivated students who have demonstrated academic excellence as high school students and have a broad range of experiences that serve as an asset for a rich intellectual community of scholars.
Membership in the TIP Scholars community is by invitation only. UT Admissions and the Provost’s Office review applications from first-time freshmen admitted to the College of Natural Sciences and nominate students who would be a good fit for the TIP Scholars community. This holistic review considers evidence of academic achievement in high school, commitment to learning and intellectual challenge, potential for leadership and effective teamwork, and appreciation for engagement in a strong academic and social community.
TIP Scholars impact their world here at UT and beyond. In the past five years, TIP Scholars have:
- Served on Student Government, the Natural Sciences Council, and various University committees that have been at the forefront of change made at the University.
- Participated in competitive programs such as SHPEP, JAMP, the Archer Program, HCMP, and Teach for America.
- Received prestigious University recognition as Dean’s Honored Graduates and Texas Parents’ Outstanding Students of the Year.
- Led and created many of the pre-professional, service, and social student organizations on campus.
- Continued their education in competitive professional and graduate school programs in a variety of fields in the US and around the globe.
- Studied abroad, published scientific research, interned with cutting edge industries, and volunteered in both the local and global community.
Why be a TIP Scholar?
The TIP Scholars program is nationally recognized for providing a unique and effective portfolio of resources that have proven to springboard freshmen to academic and personal success. These resources include:
Scholars enroll in as many as three courses with other TIP students who share similar academic interests or career goals. The personal connections formed in these linked courses often continue outside of class and in many years to follow. TIP Scholars develop long-lasting academic and personal networks with their peers in the program and at UT.
Reserved Seats in First Year Courses
TIP Scholars find registering for crucial core classes easier and therefore, academic progress is strengthened. TIP reserves seats for its Scholars in highly-desired core first-year courses such as chemistry, biology, and math. In addition, TIP provides staff, peer advisors, mentors, and a wealth of resources to empower its Scholars to navigate and trouble-shoot the complex process of registration.
A Balance of Small and Large Classes
Scholars enroll in a balance of small and large courses during their freshman year. This variety of course sizes helps students acclimate to the learning environment at UT while staying on track for their degree.
Connection to Faculty
TIP Scholars have enhanced opportunities for faculty-student connections through the small college atmosphere the program provides. TIP actively recruits outstanding faculty that have a strong interest in undergraduate education as well as expertise in their field. By the end of their freshman year, most TIP Scholars will have developed close relationships with several faculty members.
Collaborative Study Sessions
TIP provides Collaborative Study Sessions as an effective approach to college-level learning. This free resource provides an informal and relaxed environment where TIP Scholars gather for evening study guided by peer Course Assistants. Course Assistants work closely with the faculty in selected TIP courses and are trained to facilitate study based on the most effective learning strategies for that course.
TIP Scholars are matched with a peer mentor for their first year experience. Peer mentors are talented, carefully selected, upper-division alumni of the program who assist TIP Scholars with the academic and personal transition from high school to college during their first year at UT. Typically, one mentor works closely with five first-year TIP Scholars. These mentor teams meet weekly during the first academic year for scholastic and service projects, social networking, and personal success strategy training. Mentors have all been competitively selected to be part of the TIP Mentor Academy, are highly trained and supervised by staff, and are certified through the international College Reading and Learning Association.
Dedicated TIP Scholar Academic Advisors
TIP Scholars academic advisors are specialists in the courses and policies of the University and the College of Natural Sciences. They are also experts in the first-year experience including the common concerns and challenges faced by freshmen, both personal and academic. These academic advisors are personally invested in the success of our TIP Scholars and are available year-round to assist TIP Scholars with the personal guidance they need to make sound academic decisions during the entry-level portion of their degree.
TIP Fall Seminar
All TIP Scholars enroll in a student-centered and interactive critical thinking seminar during their first term at UT. The primary goal of the seminar is to immerse students in the art of intellectual engagement and becoming comfortable with college-level reasoning. This course also challenges TIP Scholars to begin viewing the world and themselves as engaged and educated young adults on their way to explore and change the world.
TIP Scholars are exposed to a rich assortment of extracurricular activities at UT to help them explore their direction and passions. These activities include workshops on academic and personal success, community building events at the program and mentor-team scope, and collaborative development of personal, professional, and intellectual skill sets.
A Home Base on Campus
The TIP Office is centrally located on the UT campus in the Flawn Academic Center (FAC). Although this is where TIP Scholars will find their academic advisors and TIP staff, this is primarily a student space. The open commons area allows TIP students to relax, study, and interact with their peers and the TIP staff on a regular basis, creating a home base on campus to call their own.