Supplemental Instruction (SI) FAQs

Welcome to Supplemental Instruction at USF

At the University of San Francisco, the Supplemental Instruction (SI) Program is overseen and implemented by The Learning Center. Access the 10-page SI Faculty Guide for more information.

"Supplemental Instruction (SI) is an academic support program that targets historically difficult courses. SI is a non-remedial approach to learning enrichment that increases student performance and retention. SI offers regularly scheduled, out-of-class review sessions to all students enrolled in a targeted course. SI study sessions are informal seminars in which students review notes, discuss readings, develop organizational tools and prepare for examinations. Students learn how to integrate course content with reasoning and study skills."
"At each SI Session, the Leader will guide the students through the most difficult course concepts. SI Leaders will help students make good use of their time and share the strategies he or she used to be successful in the course. SI Leaders will not re-lecture, give out copies of his or her notes, help students with assigned homework, or encourage last minute test cramming. The overall goal of SI sessions it to incorporate a deeper understanding of course content with study skills that can be used with other coursework."

The International Center for Supplemental Instruction at the University of Missouri-Kansas City
© 2018 SI. ©2015 UMKC SI. All Rights Reserved.
 

"SI Leaders are 'near peers.' SI Leaders are students themselves who have taken the class before and earned a high grade in the course. Faculty typically recommend [leaders]...[then] SI Leaders undergo a vigorous training process. SI Leaders are prepared to share with students how to effectively study for the course. SI Leaders attend the same class sessions with the students, taking notes and listening closely to the professor. They SI Leader is supervised by the [Learning Center] program coordinator."

The International Center for Supplemental Instruction at the University of Missouri-Kansas City
© 2018 SI. ©2015 UMKC SI. All Rights Reserved.

"The SI Program is beneficial to everyone. Students who attend SI Sessions report higher course grades and learned study skills. SI Leaders report professional development in Leadership and facilitation; they also report better, more developed relationships with faculty and a deeper understanding of the content for which they serve. Faculty benefit from having SI support in their classes. Through interactions with the Leader, they have their finger on the pulse of the students in their class, they receive higher student evaluations, and they are more connected with the needs of their students. Finally, university administrators benefit because the data show that course sections with SI support have, on average, a 13% reduction in grades of D, F, and Withdrawals. This helps to raise the retention rate of students in the course. Also, SI is a less expensive program to run than traditional tutoring."

The International Center for Supplemental Instruction at the University of Missouri-Kansas City
© 2018 SI. ©2015 UMKC SI. All Rights Reserved.

SI currently supports the following courses on campus (support is offered for these courses in the Fall and Spring terms):

  • BIOL 105 (General Biology I)
  • BIOL 106 (General Biology II)
  • BIOL 113 (Human Anatomy)
  • BIOL 115 (Survey of Human Physiology)
  • BIOL 134 (Microbiology)
  • NURS 220 (Applied Pathophysiology and Pharmacology I)
  • NURS 272 (Applied Assessment & Nursing Fundamentals II: Alterations in Health & Illness)

If you feel that your students could benefit from working with an SI Leader, please email Rachel Brunson, Learning Center Assistant Director, at rmbrunson@usfca.edu to see if your course qualifies for the program.

If you are interested in learning more about the Supplemental Instruction model, visit the International Center for Supplemental Instruction website.

"SI Sessions start the first or second week of class. SI Leaders will [typically] pass out a short survey and ask students to mark their available times on the first day class...After reviewing the surveys, the SI Leader will announce times and locations for sessions during the next class period. Each SI Leader typically sets up three or more review sessions per week."

The International Center for Supplemental Instruction at the University of Missouri-Kansas City
© 2018 SI. ©2015 UMKC SI. All Rights Reserved.

An SI Leader’s role is limited to providing academic support to students outside of the classroom. To prepare for their study sessions, SI Leaders attend class to follow the curriculum and take notes, to meet with assigned faculty members, and to ask questions about course content when they have them. This allows for SI Leaders to develop "SI Session Plans" to include topics and activities that will best engage session participants. SI Leaders should never lecture/re-lecture material, create homework assignments, distribute/proctor exams, or grade assignments/exams.