FAQ's about Supplemental Instruction

What is SI?

  • Supplemental Instruction (SI) sessions are regularly scheduled review sessions for students enrolled in historically difficult courses.

  • It provides a chance for the student to get together with other students in the class to organize materials, compare notes, discuss important concepts, develop strategies for studying the material, and be well prepared for taking the tests/exams.

  • It is provided to all PPCC students who want to improve their understanding of course material and improve their grades. Regular attendance at SI sessions is strongly encouraged as it makes reviewing for tests much easier.

What is an SI Leader?

SI leaders are students who have taken the class and earned an A or B on their transcript or through faculty endorsement. They will share how they did well in the course. They are familiar with course content and are eager to guide you. They might also be in class with you taking notes, listening closely, and modeling good student behavior. They are trained to be effective facilitators, and they receive ongoing supervision by the LAC Coordinator.

How does it work?

At each session the student is guided through course concepts by the SI. The SI will not re-lecture or provide their class notes, nor will they do the students'  homework or thinking for them. The leader will not encourage cramming for a test or exam. Rather, they will help the student make good use of study time. After all, since the students are going to study anyway they might as well do it with friends so the knowledge can be shared and concepts figured out together, right? The leader will share the strategies used to be successful. Their job is to help the students think about what was said in lecture, meant in the textbooks, and then put it all into perspective during the SI sessions for more efficient learning. Student can comfortably ask questions, express concerns, and be guided toward answers.

What's in it for me?

If you regularly attend SI sessions, chances are you will earn a better grade. Research shows that students who regularly attend average one-half to two full letter grades higher than their classmates who do not to attend. Attending could mean the difference between failing and passing; it provides a ‘competitive edge’, particularly for those pursuing professions or considering graduate school.  Attendance at SI develops a better understanding of course content by reviewing the material as well as transferring these skills to other classes that may not have SI support. SI also helps develop coping skills to adjust to university life. Hopefully, you will also make new friends who will be in some of your future classes!

When do sessions start?

SI sessions usually start the second week of classes. The LAC considers when you are available. The survey the students fill out on the first day of class asks about schedules. The SI leader will look at the schedules and try to find times that work for all students. Remember, the secret to success is studying proactively! Don't wait until the night before the test!! Since you have to study anyway, why not come to SI and make efficient use of your study time? Your SI leader will keep you informed about the times and locations for sessions.

What does it cost?

SI attendance and participation costs you nothing except your time. Assistance is free and open to all students enrolled in the supported class and section. Come as often as you like. Keep in mind, though, statistics show that the more you come, the better your grade.

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

For Spring 2014, classes that are receiving SI support are MAT 121 and 166, and BIO 111 and 201. Please note that not all sections of these classes are supported.  On the first day of class your SI leader will make an announcement about SI. You may fill out a short survey to let the SI leader know your class schedule.  Each SI leader will try to set up sessions that best fit the majority of students. You can attend all the scheduled sessions, and each one will be different because you will have new material to discuss. SI sessions are informal. Bring your notes, textbook, and questions. Remember to regularly check the notice boards around each campus, the website under Learning Assistance Centers (www.ppcc.edu/lac), and the portal for additional SI information, or call us at 719.502.3444.

Quoted from University of Missouri Kansas City: http://www.umkc.edu/cad/si/faqs.shtml