Supplemental Instruction (SI) is an academic assistance program that utilizes peer-assisted study sessions. SI sessions are regularly-scheduled, informal review sessions in which students compare notes, discuss readings, develop organizational tools, and predict test items. Students learn how to integrate course content and study skills while working together.
The sessions are facilitated by “SI leaders”, students who have previously done well in the course and who attend all class lectures, take notes, and act as model students.
- The SI program does not identify high-risk students, but rather identifies historically difficult classes- those with a high rate of D or F grades and withdrawals- and provides regularly scheduled, out-of-class, peer-facilitated study sessions.
- SI sessions assistance begins on the first day of class, are open to all students of varying abilities in the course, and are always free of charge.
- SI leaders are students who are recommended by the instructor and have demonstrated competence in this or in a comparable course.
- SI leaders are trained to incorporate instructional strategies aimed at strengthening student academic performance.
- SI leaders attend all class sessions, take notes, read all assigned material, and conduct two or more hour-long SI sessions each week. SI sessions integrate how-to-learn with what-to-learn.
- Students who attend SI sessions discover appropriate application of study strategies (e.g. note taking, graphic organization, questioning techniques, vocabulary acquisition, problem solving, test preparation) as they review content material.
- Students become actively involved in the course material as the SI leaders use the text, lecture notes, and supplementary readings to refine skills for learning.
- SI participants earn higher course grades and withdraw less often than non-SI participants. Also, data demonstrate higher re-enrollment and graduation rates for students who participate in SI.
(SI Leader's Manual, p.10-11, Copyrights by The Curators of the University of Missouri, 2006)
The SI Program was piloted at WCC in Spring 2009 under a US Department of Education Title III grant. Since then, the SI Program has served 713 students per semester on average, with 49.93% of those attending one or more SI session(s). On average, SI Leaders offer one-hour sessions 40 times per semester.
The data show that students who attend sessions succeeded (with an A, B, or C grade) at a rate of 71.29%, while those who did not attend succeeded at a rate of 54.16%. Furthermore, the average mean final course grade for the SI group is 2.53, while the average mean final course grade for non-attendees is 1.89.
Beginning Spring 2016, SI became institutionally funded for transfer level courses only. Developmental math and English courses are now supported by a peer coaching program, Ho'onui 'Ike, funded by the Title III Kahua Ho'ona'auao grant.
SI Informational Brochure for Faculty