Learn About SI

What is SI?

SI, or Supplemental Instruction, is a program that offers FREE weekly sessions for students enrolled in historically difficult courses. SI provides a chance for you to get together with people in your class to compare notes, discuss important concepts, develop strategies for studying the subject, and to test yourselves before your professor does, so that when he/she does, you'll be ready. SI is provided for all students who want to improve their understanding of course material and improve their grades.

What is the purpose 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”

What are SI leaders?

SI leaders are students themselves who have taken the class before and earned a high grade. They are prepared to share with you what they have learned about how to study effectively for this course. They know the course content and are excited to help guide you through it. They'll also be in class with you every day, taking notes and listening closely to the professor.

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.

What does an SI session look like?

At each session you will be guided through course concepts by your SI leader. Your leader will not re-lecture or give you his/her class notes. Your leader will not do your homework or your thinking for you. Your leader will help you make good use of your study time. Your leader will share with you the strategies he/she used to be successful in the course. Your leader's job is to help you think about the lectures you hear and the books you read, and then put it all together into some kind of perspective during SI sessions so you can learn it more efficiently.

What are the goals of SI?

  • Enhance student learning
  • Improve 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

When do sessions start?

SI sessions start the first or second week of classes. You will fill out a survey on the first day of class so that your leader can determine the best time to schedule sessions. The SI leader will look at the schedule and find times that work for you.