Center for Student Success

Supplemental Instruction


  1. How do I know if SI is offered for my course?
    • You should know in the first week whether or not your course has an SI Leader. The SI leader will generally give a 10 minute presentation the first or second day of classes prior to asking students to fill out a brief survey to determine the best time to schedule sessions. Bookmarks or handout sheets will be distributed around the third week of classes, and the schedule will be posted in the classroom and on the SI web site. Actual sessions begin by the second or third week of the semester.
    • Although a free service, SI is only offered in classes where the academic program supports SI and where there is a need. Your professor may talk positively about SI during the semester, recommending that students attend the sessions to obtain a deeper understanding of the coursework.
  2. How are classes selected?
    • SI targets difficult, high-risk courses on campus; this means courses that have high percentage of Ds, Fs or withdrawals. They are generally, but not always, 100-200 level courses, which students must take to begin an academic major. These courses are often large lecture courses requiring large amounts of reading with examinations which require application and analysis.
  3. What is an SI Leader?
    • SI Leaders are not tutors; they are trained peer facilitators, which means they will encourage the group to process the material rather than acting as an authority figure who lectures.
    • They will be in class with you every day, taking notes on the same lecture you are listening to and reading the same assignments.
    • SI Leaders have demonstrated outstanding skills in their coursework, have previously taken the course targeted and are approved and many times requested by the professor.
  4. What goes on in a SI session?
    • SI is an informally led study session. Students work together to explore important concepts, review class notes, discuss reading assignments, practice test-taking strategies, and prepare for exams. SI Leaders take their cue from the students' questions and requests.
  5. How often are sessions held?
    • Each SI Leader provides three hours of sessions each week. Usually these sessions are spread out over three, hour long sessions, but occasionally, students prefer longer sessions so the SI Leader schedules two sessions for one and half hours in length.
  6. Who attends SI?
    • Attending SI is totally voluntary, and the sessions are open to anyone enrolled in the targeted course, so sessions attract students of varying abilities. Many students attend periodically throughout the semester.
  7. Why should I attend SI sessions?
    • Quite simply, you will get a better grade.
    • Research at ISU, as well as other universities, indicate that students who attend on a regular basis improve their test scores from a half to a whole letter grade.
    • SI is not just about passing the course or achieving an A in the course. During these sessions you are incorporating appropriate study skills needed to do well in all of your courses.

The following comments from students may help you understand the value of the sessions: