The Supplemental Instruction (SI) program helps students find new ways to solve old problems. SI is offered on campuses around the world and targets historically difficult courses on each campus. Historically difficult courses are those that traditionally have high rates of D's, F's and W's as final grades.
Supplemental Instruction leaders are qualified upperclassmen who have already completed the course. They attend the class with students and then hold additional study sessions outside regular class meetings. The voluntary study sessions are conducted on a drop-in basis.
What students are saying about their SI sessions:
"Every SI session I went to was fun and engaging--we always reviewed materials necessary for class and what we were stuck on."
"I would write about SI in my agenda so I did not miss it. Going to SI was always a pleasure."
"Very helpful when clarifying points I didn't get in class."
"After attending SI sessions, my test scores were exponentially higher. The test score improvement was so shocking to my professor that he asked me in office hours what I had done differently. The difference was that I started attending SI sessions a little more often and overhauling my study techniques. It has been a crazy semester, but SI saved me and my grade."
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an SI session?
An SI session is a group study session facilitated by an SI leader who is trained in group study techniques. Session are scheduled three times weekly and are an hour in length. Prior to exams, SI leaders will schedule two-hour review sessions. SI sessions are an opportunity for all students--regardless of the grade--to review material and learn group study techniques that they can then use in upper-level courses.
How do I prepare for an SI session?
- Before attending an SI session, students should have done any assigned reading and attempted homework problems.
- Students should come to SI sessions with specific questions.
- Students should be prepared to be active participants in the session.
Why should I attend SI session?
- National data indicate that students who attend SI sessions regularly (10+ times a semester) can expect to earn final grades up to a letter grade higher than their classmates who do not regularly attend SI sessions.
- SI leaders have already taken the class (sometimes with the same professor) and performed well. SI leaders will not only provide you with content assistance, but will also provide anecdotal information to help you navigate the course more effectively!
- Research indicates that, when done correctly, studying in a group can be 2.5 times more effective than studying alone. Each SI leader is trained in the most effective ways to facilitate a group study session.
How do I know if SI is available for my class?
What can I expect from my SI leader?
- You can expect your SI leader to attend each class (they do not attend labs) and keep up with the material being covered in class.
- You can expect your SI leader to come with an agenda for the SI sessions. SI leaders will often bring practice problems, quizzes, and practice exams to their sessions.
- You can expect your SI leader to maintain a consistent session schedule and to alert you of any changes to the schedule.
- You can expect your SI leader to guide you toward achieving your academic goals.
- You can expect your SI leader to create a warm, inclusive, and engaging environment in all SI sessions. SI is for everyone and all are welcome!
What is NOT expected from an SI leader?
- SI leaders are not expected to know the answer to every question or problem that students may have. Remember, SI leaders are students--not professors. If they do not know the answer to a question or a problem, they will work with the students in the session to find the answer and, if needed, bring the question or problem to the professor for assistance.
- SI leaders are not expected to and will NOT provide notes to students.
- SI leaders are not expected to relecture the material covered in class; rather they are expected to serve as faciliators of the SI sessions, focusing on the more difficult concepts.
- SI leaders are not expected to be accessible to students outside of class and their SI sessions. Remember, SI leaders are students who have their own academic responsibilities.