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What is Supplemental Instruction (SI)?



How SI Works

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 Ds, Fs, and Ws as final grades.

Students who have been highly successful in these courses are recommended by the faculty of these courses and serve as student leaders for the SI program. The SI leaders are learning assistants who performed exceptionally well in a particular course and can assist you in gaining a better understanding of the course material. They also serve to help you develop learning skills to enhance your academic experience. In their sessions, SI leaders demonstrate processes and methodologies for effective learning (i.e., learning strategies, note-taking skills, listening skills, test anxiety, etc.). 

The SI leader is a facilitator, not a mini-professor. The role of the leader is to provide structure to the study session, not to re-lecture or introduce new material. The SI leader is a “model student” who shows how successful students think about and process the course content.

Collaborative learning is an important strategy since it helps students to empower themselves rather than remaining dependent as they might in traditional tutoring. In SI students to get together in small groups with other students in the subject to compare notes, discuss important topics, and to develop strategies for studying and learning. At each session an SI Leader will be on hand to guide students through the course material. Sessions are designed to be informal, flexible, and fun! The focus of each session will be determined by the needs of the group. SI is a valuable opportunity for students to seek help and advice in a friendly, relaxed environment. The voluntary study sessions are conducted on a drop-in basis.

SI Sessions are structured to keep pace with the material being taught in your class and SI Leaders stay in close contact with your course professor. As a result, SI Sessions provide students who attend on a regular basis the ability to keep up with the course material and, in general, become more successful. SI targets academically challenging courses and empowers you by presenting the essential tools needed to master difficult concepts. You are taught to view problems differently and learn the material by asking questions and analyzing your work.

The SI program provides an environment in which how-to-learn is integrated with what-to-learn so students earn higher exam and course grades and withdraw less often when they participate in SI programs.


Mission of SI

To provide an environment that increases the learning and retention of all students enrolled in SI-linked courses.  


Purposes of SI

• To help students in “historically” difficult classes master course content while they develop and learn study strategies

• To target “historically” difficult courses rather than “at risk” students

• To integrate “what to learn” with “how to learn”


Goals of SI

• Enhance student learning

• I mprove student grades in targeted courses

• Reduce the attrition rate within those courses

• Increase eventual graduation rates of students

• Increase student skills in comprehension, analysis, critical thinking, and problem solving.

• Integrate review of course content with study skills and learning strategies.

• Increase re-enrollment and persistence of participating students.


Let the Numbers Speak


Together we can make a difference.

If you have any questions about Supplemental Instruction,
please contact Ms. Fiona Brantley, fbrantle@kennesaw.edu.


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