Supplemental Instruction — FAQ

What is SI?

Supplemental Instruction (SI) is an academic support program that targets historically difficult courses. SI is a non-remedial approach to learning enrichment that increases student performance and retention. SI offers regularly scheduled, out-of-class review sessions to all students enrolled in a targeted course. SI study sessions are informal seminars in which students review notes, discuss readings, develop organizational tools and prepare for examinations. Students learn how to integrate course content with reasoning and study skills.

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.

How does it work?

At each session, the SI leader will guide the students through the course concepts. SI leaders will help students make good use of their time and share the strategies he or she used to be successful in the course.

SI leaders will not re-lecture, give out copies of his or her notes, help students with assigned homework, or encourage last minute test cramming.

What’s in it for me?

Students who attend SI sessions statistically earn better grades. Research shows that students regularly average one half to one full letter grade higher than their classmates who choose not to attend. Students are also able to transfer the skills they learn to other classes that do not offer SI support.

How will I know if SI is offered in my class?

The SI leader will make an announcement about sessions on the first day of class. Students will be asked to fill out a short survey regarding their class schedule and availability. Students are encouraged to bring their official class schedule with them on the first day.

When do sessions start?

SI sessions start the first or second week of class. SI leaders will pass out a short survey and ask students to mark their available times on the first day class. After reviewing the surveys, the SI leader will announce times and locations for sessions during the next class period. Each SI leader typically sets up three or more review sessions per week.

What does it cost?

SI sessions are free. Students are encouraged to come as often as they like; however, the statistics show that the more students attend, the better their grades.