Student Support: Workshops and Mentors

Developing Excellence in Emerging Engineering Professionals (DEEEP) TCSS 390 workshops are two-credit, non-graded courses that are available to students enrolled in TCSS 143, TCSS 321, TCSS 342 and TCSS 343. The workshops are small-group problem solving seminars and are led by a trained peer facilitator. They offer a cooperative, structured, low-pressure environment to work together on concepts and problems with the goal of enhancing understanding of course material. The workshops are based on research showing that cooperative methods of learning promote higher grades, greater persistence, deeper comprehension, more enjoyment in learning, and more positive attitudes toward academic work.

390 Workshops

Need help with your major classes?  Consider taking a 390 course.  These are workshop-style courses that can help you succeed in some of the toughest courses for each of the Institute majors.  

All workshops are numbered 390--for example, TCSS 390.  The workshops offer students the opportunity to practice on problems related to different courses in the core curriculum and are overseen by a faculty member and a student facilitator.  For example, in the CSS program, there are TCSS 390 workshops for Object-Oriented Programming (TCSS 143), Discrete Mathmatics (TCSS 321), Data Structures (TCSS 342) and the Design and Analysis of Algorithms (TCSS 343).

The 390 workshops for other programs (CES and IT) are organized a little differently, but they offer a similar problem solving environment and are meant to support student success in the core curriculum. The workshops offer students the opportunity to practice problems related to to different courses in the core curriculum.  This will not only help you solve problems, but also develop a deeper understanding of the material.  For more information and details about these courses, please click here

Student Mentors

Student mentors are hired as part of the Institute of Technology to help other students with their classes. The purpose for this is to increase the quality of education in the Institute of Technology. Mentors can help explain concepts, troubleshoot code and give advice on improving your grades. They share time equally between all of the students who need help.

Mentors can be found in the Science 106 and/or Science 108 labs. For a list of our current mentors and their schedules please click on Student Mentors Schedule. You can contact the mentors at

For help with mathematics courses, the Teaching and Learning Center provides mathematics help to all UWT students. The CSS mentors can provide help with all junior-level courses in the CSS curriculum.

How to become a mentor

The basic requirements for being a mentor are: 

  • Recommendation from a faculty member
  • Completion of TCSS 142, 143, 342 and 321 and GPA in CSS classes of 3.2 or better
  • Excellent interpersonal communication skills

We prefer that mentors have the following:

  • Two written recommendations from faculty (email acceptable) 
  • Completion of TCSS 343 and 372 and GPA in CSS classes of 3.4 or better
  • Experience teaching or mentoring in another program or job
  • Senior class status

If you are interested in becoming a mentor, please email Monika Sobolewska, Mentoring Faculty Adviser.

What are the benefits?

Data shows that students enrolled in the workshops outperform their peers in the core courses. Additionally, previous workshop students have identified the following benefits that they personally experienced as a result of the workshops:

  • Better grades on homework and exams
  • Clarification of concepts that are only briefly discussed in lecture
  • Ensures regular study and enough practice to be confident with the material
  • Get to see multiple approaches to solving a problem
  • Consistent group of peers to study with who are all interested in success
  • Important feedback about how well you really understand the material, and reveals weaknesses before it is too late
  • Prepared to get the most out of the course lecture
  • Become part of a learning community and get to know classmates
  • Low-pressure setting to ask questions and talk about concepts