Supplemental Instruction: Questions & Answers

What is Supplemental Instruction?

Supplemental Instruction (SI) is a series of weekly review sessions for students taking historically difficult courses. SI is provided for all students in chosen sections who want to improve their understanding of course material and improve their grades. Attendance at sessions is voluntary. For you, the student, it's a chance to get together with people in your class to compare notes, to discuss important concepts, to develop strategies for studying the subject, and to test yourselves before your professor does. At each session, you will be guided through this material by your SI leader, so you are not on your own in the study session.

How do I know if SI is offered in my class?

The courses that are supported by SI are labeled on the course schedule, or you can look on the SI website for the list of classes that have SI.  SI sessions are held on every campus, and in a variety of courses that are required.  Also, the first week of class the SI leader will make an announcement about SI.

What's an SI leader?

SI leaders are students themselves who successfully completed the course and are prepared to share with you what they have learned about how to study. They'll be in class with you every day, hearing what you hear and reading what you read. They take notes and participate in the class, just like you.  Their job is to help you think about the lectures you hear and the information you read. Then they put it all together into some kind of perspective during SI study sessions so you can learn it more efficiently.

When do SI review sessions start?

The SI leader attends class from the very beginning, but the SI study sessions begin during the second week of the semester.  The SI leader will set up two or three study sessions a week at times that are best for the majority of the class. You can attend one session or all of them (the choice is yours.) Attending these sessions early is one of the keys to success. 

What's in it for me?

Research shows that students who regularly attend SI sessions average up to a full letter grade higher than their classmates who choose not to attend. Attending SI means you'll develop a better understanding of course content as well as more effective ways of studying. Also, the more you attend, the better your grade will be. 

How does it work?

At each study session the SI leader will guide you through course concepts. The leader will not re-lecture or give out his or her class notes. The leader will not do homework or thinking for you. It is their job to help you think about the lectures you hear and the information you read, and then put it all together into some kind of perspective during SI sessions so learning happens more effectively.

What does it cost?

SI costs you nothing except your time. Assistance is free. Come as often as you like. Keep in mind, though, the statistics show that the more sessions you attend, the better your grade.

How can I become an SI leader?

There are three requirements to become and SI leader. You have to earn an A or a high B in the course. Finally, you need a GPA of 3.0 or higher.  And finally, you need to be nominated by an ACC faculty member who wants SI in their course in the next semester.