Supplemental Instruction is a non-traditional method of tutoring that provides group study support outside the classroom through discrete study sessions to supplement the in-class lessons. SI provides peer facilitated study sessions for all the students enrolled in historically difficult courses. National and international studies have shown that students who attend at least one SI session are likely to increase their final grades by one-half-letter grade. At Southwest, students who have attended SI sessions have seen similar results. Our SI program specifically targets gateway courses with high enrollment and high failure; therefore, we employ SI Leaders for courses such as ENGL1010, MATH1530, BIOL2020 and COMM2025. The goal is to lower the D, F, W rates while raising students’ academic performance at Southwest.
Supplemental Instruction provides small group tutoring assistance for help in some of Southwest’s most difficult courses. There is also an opportunity to become a Supplemental Instruction (SI) Leader for a class that you really enjoyed taking in a previous semester. To qualify to be an SI Leader, you must maintain a minimum of 3.25 GPA, have previously earned an “A” in the course of instruction, and have already earned a total of 15 or more credit hours. They are responsible, have a clear understanding of the course content, and are able to communicate effectively with both their faculty and peers.
During SI Sessions, the leaders facilitate activities that will assist students in learning how to study course material. SI Leaders regularly attend whenever classes meet and then provide SI sessions outside of class at times determined by the ASC leadership. The work commitment would be five hours per week: SI Leaders would be required to attend the three one-hour study sessions outside of class each week. All SI Leaders must pass a rigorous selection process and receive training on how to facilitate collaborative study groups. Study skills, such as note taking and textbook reading, are integrated with subject-specific content. Students also learn to conceptualize and understand patterns found within a discipline while mastering problem solving techniques.
- Jacqueline Larry, SI Coordinator