Supplemental Instruction Faculty Guide

What is SI?

Supplemental Instruction (SI) was established in 1973 by Deanna Martin at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC). SI is a series of weekly review sessions for students taking historically difficult courses who want to improve their understanding of material in select courses.  Attendance is voluntary, and SI provides students a chance to get together with others in the class to compare notes, discuss important concepts, and develop study strategies.

The Goals of SI at ICC

SI’s goals are multi-dimensional:

  1. To increase retention within targeted courses
  2. To improve student grades in targeted courses
  3. To increase student graduation rates
  4. To discover and cultivate emerging SI Leaders at ICC

What is an SI Leader?

SI Leaders are either professionals or students who have completed the course that they support with an A or B. SI Leaders attend class, hearing what students hear and reading what students read.  They then hold three or four 50-minutes group study sessions per week. Their job is to help students think about the lectures and course concepts during the review sessions.  SI can help students learn the material more efficiently.

Wondering how SI can impact success rates in your class?

Take a look at our Fall 2020 Grade Report,  Spring 2020 Grade Report and our Fall 2019 Grade Report  These provide aggregate data for all sections that we supported in the fall and spring semesters. For the fall semester, on average, students who attended SI sessions achieved at higher levels than their peers who did not attend sessions; 85 percent of SI attenders achieved a grade of C or better, compared to 67 percent of their peers who did not attend. Spring 2020 SI attendees also performed better than students who did not attend SI sessions.

If you are interested in participating in the Supplemental Instruction Program, please see our Guide to Participation.

SI vs. Tutoring:

  • SI Leaders audit the class and provide students with a role model and encouragement. In general, tutors do not audit classes. The class expectations and standards are clear to the SI Leader and enable the Leader to identify concepts students find challenging.
  • SI sessions are planned. The SI Leader pre-selects topics to reinforce the difficult/challenging material that is covered in the curriculum. Like tutoring, SI sessions are student-directed, and the difference is that students will often seek tutoring assistance once they have identified a challenging topic and formed questions about the material.
  • SI Leaders are student peers. While SI Leaders may not always be current students at ICC, our goal is to hire students who have taken classes at ICC. Tutors are not required to have taken classes at ICC.
  • SI sessions are focused on interactive group learning.  Working with tutors can be done both 1:1 or in small groups. While tutors cater to individual learning styles, SI leaders have students work with each other.

Working together, faculty and SI Leaders can help guide ICC students to great success!