Need help with classes in your major? Consider taking a Txxx390 course. These are workshop-style courses that can help you succeed in some of the toughest courses for each of the SET majors.
All workshops are numbered 390; for example, TCSS390, TCES390, etc. Workshops offer the opportunity to practice and discuss problems related to specific courses in the core curriculum, and are overseen by a faculty member and a student mentor. 390 Workshops can help you solve problems and also develop a deeper understanding of the material.
What are the benefits of 390 Workshops?
Data shows that students enrolled in 390 workshops outperform their peers in 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 academic 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
390 workshops can also help you build skills that are important not only as a good student and computer scientist or engineer, but also as a good citizen:
Improve your study habits
Improve your precision and accuracy when discussing the material
Develop critical thinking and written and oral communication skills
Functioning as a sort of honors program, the workshops are about your willingness and desire to reach, experiment, and even to fail and try again. Facilitators do not report back to the lecture class instructor whether you seem to struggle or excel.
How do the 390 Workshops work?
A typical workshop session involves working on problems in smaller groups. Groups then share and discuss their solutions. A student facilitator helps find problems to work on helps when groups get stuck.
Are 390 Workshops right for you?
The time commitment for each workshop is significant and should be considered carefully. Depending on your time commitments in other parts of your life (job, family, etc.), you might not be able to commit to the time that the workshop is offered.
Paired with two 5-credit classes, adding a workshop is considered a full-time load for financial aid purposes. We recommend this course load for transfer students during your first quarter at UW Tacoma to give yourself the opportunity to adjust to your new setting.
Your comfort zone
Discussion and enthusiastic participation are important features of the workshops.
If you are uncomfortable talking to or assisting other students and don't necessarily want to challenge yourself with intense interaction right now, then perhaps the workshops are not for you. On the other hand, the workshops are intended to be a safe place to interact; this could be a good place to challenge yourself.
Results not guaranteed
There is no guarantee that participation in the workshop will improve your grade in the associated lecture course. In both, what you get out of the work is mostly dependent on what work you put in.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I take a TCSS 390 workshop?
To master the related course material.
It is sometimes difficult for students to find the time to work on extra problems. It is also sometimes difficult to find other students to talk to. The workshops provide both of these.
The workshops are:
A place to practice solving problems and reconstruct or rehearse the thinking process from the textbook and lecture.
A safe place to do this with other people who are there for the same reason.
A likely way to help you earn a better grade in the related course.
An opportunity to develop study skills — problem solving, working with others, presenting ideas to others — that will benefit you throughout school and beyond.
A good way to build a 12-credit course load, which might be important for financial aid purposes.
I am taking one of the courses for which there is a workshop. How do I enroll in the associated workshop?
First, you need to identify which workshop is associated with the lecture class you are taking. You can’t just sign up for any TCSS 390 section. The UWT Time Schedule should say which lecture course the workshop supports.
Make sure you sign up for the correct TCSS 390 section!
Once you enroll in the workshop, show up to the first workshop session, even if the associated lecture class has not met yet.
Can I sign up for a TCSS workshop without being enrolled in the associated course? I will be taking the lecture course n
No. The workshops are specifically for students who are enrolled in the course.
Can I just sit in on the workshop to work on problems that are particularly hard or for midterm or finals?
No. The students who enroll in the workshop have paid student fees to do so. The salary for the facilitator who runs it is partially paid by those student fees. It would be unfair for others to benefit from their time and effort without paying for it.
Can I use the time in the workshop to work on my homework?
No. The point of the workshops is to reinforce concepts that you have learned in class and deepen your understanding of those concepts. This means that you need to work on more than just problems that are assigned to you as homework.
Do we do anything important in the first week of workshop?
Yes. In the workshops, students start immediately with solving problems. The first week of class is often spent reviewing important material from previous courses. Also, since the quarter only last 10 weeks, it is important to get into the routine of the quarter immediately.
I can’t take the workshop for the course I am taking this quarter. Are there other campus resources that might help me?
An underutilized resource is the instructor of the course you are taking! Get to know your instructor’soffice hours. Go to them and ask questions. If you can’t make those office hours, arrange another time with your instructor. You will be amazed at how productive such time with your professor can be. See SET faculty directory for contact information or your course syllabus for office hours.
Who can I talk to about the workshops to get more information?
Academic support in math, science, statistics, and writing for all UWT students
The Teaching and Learning Center (TLC) provides academic support in math, science, statistics and writing to all UWT students. Consultants collaborate with students to develop the skills, strategies, knowledge, and confidence necessary for academic success. They also offer support in using software and calculators for math and statistics and developing the study skills.