Supplemental Instruction

Supplemental Instruction (SI) is a series of weekly review sessions for students in "historically difficult courses" — indicated by a high rate of D or F grades and withdrawals. SI is provided for all students who want to improve their understanding of the course material and improve their grades.

All SI sessions are free and open to any student taking the course. Session schedules can be found via the "View the SI Schedule" button above and are posted on each course's Canvas page. If a student cannot attend the SI sessions for their specific course, they can elect to attend a different section's session.

A typical session might include direct instruction, modeling of a learning strategy (such as a concept map), and/or review of the concepts. Many of the techniques discussed in an SI session can be applied to other courses. These sessions are voluntary, open to any student taking the course, and students are welcome to arrive late/leave early if they cannot attend the entire session.

The sessions are designed for students of varying abilities to collaborate together. SI is a chance for students to meet with peers from their class to compare notes, work through problems, discuss concepts, strengthen study skills, and apply new knowledge. Students have the opportunity to become actively involved in the subject material because the leaders use the text, supplementary readings, and lecture notes as the vehicle for learning skill instruction.

I love how she gave us hard examples, making the test easier!

Organic Chemistry Student

Who are the SI Leaders?

SI Leaders are qualified and trained students who have taken the course previously, often from the same instructor, and who have excelled. The SI Leaders take part in an intensive training session before the beginning of the academic term with additional training throughout the academic year. Their training covers learning and instructional strategies aimed at strengthening student academic performance, data collection, and management details.

SI Leaders:

  • Attend all class lectures, take notes, and read assigned texts
  • Function as model students
  • Employ teaching strategies to encourage collaborative learning in the sessions
  • Demonstrate how to learn course content
  • Aid students in becoming independent learners who can excel in the course themselves

SI leaders do not assist in the preparation or grading of exams.

Data shows that students who attend SI sessions earn higher grades and withdraw less from the class than students who do not attend the sessions. SI students also have higher re-enrollment and graduation rates.

The Benefits of SI

  • Acquire short-term and long-term study skills
  • Learn how to organize class materials
  • Prepare more thoroughly for exams, compare notes, discuss important concepts, and develop strategies for studying the subject with classmates
  • Receive higher mean course grades
  • Meet classmates and feel more comfortable participating
  • Learn to collaborate with classmates
  • Become independent learners
  • Learn to self-test over course exams