Supplemental Instruction (SI) is an academic assistance program that utilizes peer-assisted study sessions. SI sessions are regularly-scheduled, informal review sessions in which students compare notes, discuss readings, develop organizational tools, and predict test items. Students learn how to integrate course content and study skills while working together. The sessions are facilitated by “SI leaders”, students who have previously done well in the course and who attend all class lectures, take notes, and act as model students.
- To increase retention within targeted historically difficult courses
- To improve student grades in targeted historically difficult courses
- To increase the graduation rates of students
SI is a “free service” offered to all students in a targeted course. SI is a non remedial approach to learning as the program targets high-risk courses rather than high-risk students. All students are encouraged to attend SI sessions, as it is a voluntary program. Students with varying levels of academic preparedness and diverse ethnicities participate. There is no remedial stigma attached to SI since the program targets high-risk coursesrather than high-risk students.
What is an SI leader?
SI leaders are students themselves who have taken the class before and earned a high grade in the course. Faculty typically recommends the leaders who facilitate the SI sessions. SI leaders are prepared to share with students how to effectively study for the course. SI leaders attend the same class every day, taking notes and listening closely to the professor. The SI coordinating team trains them in how to be effective facilitators and receive ongoing supervision.