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Supplemental Instruction

Supplemental Instruction

Supplemental Instruction (SI) is a series of FREE, voluntary based weekly study sessions for students taking historically difficult courses. SI is designed to supplement - not replace - class lectures. Sessions are facilitated by students (SI Leaders) who have already taken and done well in the targeted courses. SI Leaders guide students through course material in a collaborative environment where students work together to discuss important concepts, compare notes, develop strategies for studying the subject, and test each other. Students who attend sessions learn to integrate how to learn with what to learn. SI was designed to increase student retention and academic performance. Data shows that students who regularly attend SI earn, on average, 1/2 to 1 whole letter grade higher than non-SI participants.

The SI Leaders, participating faculty, and SI Coordinator are the key people in the program. Leaders work with faculty to create sessions that integrate course content with effective study skills. The SI Coordinator implements and supervises the SI program by: Identifying targeted subjects, communicating with faculty, selecting and training SI leaders, monitoring the quality of sessions, and collecting program data.

How are courses chosen for SI?
SI targets historically difficult courses. These courses tend to have high number of students who do not earn a passing grade or withdraw from the course. SI is designed to support faculty and is assigned to a subject due to what is being taught, not because of the manner in which it is being taught.

What is faculty asked to do?
SI is not intended to create additional work for faculty. We ask that faculty support SI by having an open line of communication with their SI leaders. Faculty should allow SI leaders time to introduce the program to the class at the beginning of the term and time to make occasional in-class announcements. We also ask that faculty encourage students to take advantage of SI. Faculty may collaborate with the SI leader to discuss the content of the sessions and the areas in which students are struggling. These interactions can be very helpful to the SI leader as they prepare their weekly sessions.

What can faculty expect from the SI Leader?

The SI leader will:
  • Attend class meetings
  • Maintain a professional attitude about class standards, grades, and student issues
  • Discourage students from attending SI as a substitute for class
  • Share SI materials with the faculty member, if requested
  • Provide feedback to the faculty member, if requested
If you would like an SI leader assigned to your class, please contact Maggie Johnson, Director, at mjohnson2@dcccd.edu or 214-860-2416.