Collaborative Study Sessions

TIP Director

Monica R. Hall-Porter, PhD.
Flawn Academic Center (FAC)2.110


Mailing Address

2304 Whitis Avenue
The University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX 78712
T: 512-232-6493
F: 512-232-2800



What are Collaborative Study Sessions (CSS)?

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 and CH 301/302. 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.

What is expected of me at a session? 

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.

What is a Course Assistant? 

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.

Group photo of the Collaborative Study Sessions Team


CSS Spring 2024 Schedule

To access CSS you will need to be logged into your UT Austin Zoom account. Students, please ensure you click on the correct CSS session for your professor. There are no CSS sessions on Friday or Saturday this semester.

CSS will start on the second week of classes of Spring 2024. You will be able to attend our first session on January 22.

CH 302
PAI 5.42

Sunday: 5:00–7:00 PM (Virtual Only:

Wednesday: 5:00–7:00 PM

Thursday: 5:00–7:00 PM

BIO 311C
PAI 4.28

Sunday: 6:00–8:00 PM* (Virtual only:

Monday: 5:00–7:00 PM

Tuesday: 5:00–7:00 PM 

Wednesday: 5:00–7:00 PM

Thursday: 5:00–7:00 PM

*The session on Sunday starts at a different time than during weekdays.

BIO 311D
WEL 3.320

Sunday: 6:00–8:00 PM (Virtual only:

Wednesday: 6:00–8:00 PM 

Thursday: 6:00–8:00 PM



TIP Course Assistants Position

TIP Scholars Course Assistants (CAs) are successful and talented students within the College of Natural Sciences who assist first-year students as they transition to the academic rigor of UT Austin. They are trained in effective study practices and serve as a role model for academic success. CA's are not tutors – their primary goal is to help students develop effective study skills and critical thinking techniques through Socratic questioning, which students can then take to other courses and learning contexts.

TIP Scholars CAs facilitate weekly Collaborative Study Sessions (CSS), provide support during discussions, and collaborate with the course instructor to promote student engagement and positive learning outcomes. They are an integral part of the staff at the TIP Scholars Program and serve as a resource for student academic success.



  • Attend monthly training
  • Lead at least one session of CSS per week
  • Attend course lectures, lab/discussion groups
  • Collaborate with faculty to support student success


  • Up to 8-Hour per week employment*
  • Competitive UT Austin student employee compensation ($11.50/Hr)
  • Experience working with a diverse population of students
  • Flexible hours
  • Valuable, transferrable skills acquisition (e.g., cultural / leadership competency, conflict resolution, etc.)


  • Open to current / former TIP Scholars
  • In-residence, overall 3.0 GPA or higher
  • Successful completion of NSC 109 in the Spring semester preceding the appointment
  • Successful completion of the course for which they are assigned (defined as a grade of B+ or higher)
  • Eligible to work in the U.S.

 *Please note: students who hold any academic appointment (this includes student employment for TIP with the exception of Office Assistants) at the University cannot be employed for more than 20 hours per week at the University of Texas at Austin. This 20 hours per week maximum includes the hours for any other appointment you may hold across campus.


Application Details

Thank you for your interest in serving as a Course Assistant (CA) for the Texas Interdisciplinary Plan Scholars Program (TIP Scholars) at the University of Texas at Austin.

The Application for Course Assistants is currently closed for the 2024-2025 academic year. If you are interested in becoming a CA, return to this page by October-November of 2024 to submit your application.