Supplemental Instruction

CSU SI Symposium: Sharing and Adopting Proven Practices, April 21

In response to campus requests, the CSU Academic Technology Services has organized a free one-day Supplemental Instruction (SI) demonstration, workshop, and planning meeting on Friday, April 21 at the Chancellor’s Office. Each campus may send up to four participants. Attached please find the memo sent to campus presidents, provosts, and vice presidents for student services describing the purpose of the meeting, subsidies for travel, and the agenda. For further information, see the event announcement that went to CSU campus Presidents, which includes the agenda, registration link, and information on subsidized travel.

Supplemental Instruction (SI) is an academic support model that uses peer-assisted study sessions to improve student retention and success within historically difficult courses. These are courses with a significantly higher than average number of students receiving grades of D, F, or W (withdrawal). The SI program provides peer support by having students who succeeded in traditionally difficult academic courses (e.g., Organic Chemistry, Biology 101, Logic) help other students successfully complete these courses. SI is a non-remedial approach that provides regular review sessions outside of class in which students work collaboratively by discussing readings, comparing notes, working together to predict test items, and sharing ideas for improving course material. Courses selected for SI tend to be “gatekeeper” courses for first and second year students—generally those classes that have a 30% or higher proportion of students who receive a “D”, fail, or withdraw (the DFW rate) from the course. Out-of-class review sessions are led by “SI Leaders,” students who took the class already and did well. SI Leaders attend all class lectures, take notes, and act as models to those currently taking the course. The SI model is used for selected courses at the undergraduate, graduate, and professional school levels, and has been adopted by colleges and universities in the United States and internationally.

Supplemental Instruction in the CSU

A majority of CSU campuses are implementing Supplemental Instruction and have formed a SI Community that meets online monthly. The following videos and presentation provide further detail regarding SI efforts in the CSU.

  • What is Supplemental Instruction?, video
  • Impact of Supplemental Instruction on Students, video
  • Role and Benefits of Being an SI Leader, video
  • Recruitment, Training, and Support of SI Leaders, video
  • Training Student Supplemental Instruction Leaders, video
  • Webinar on “Implementing Successful Supplemental Instruction” (summary, slides, recording)
  • Fresno State receives 2016 International Supplemental Instruction Awards (article)
  • San Diego State University video report on the impact of SI
  • Fullerton faculty co-author article as part of Supplemental Instruction Journal (Volume 2, Issue 1, 2016)
  • Poster presentation on Supplemental Instruction by Martin Bonsangue, CSU Fullerton (ppt, jpg)
  • CSU Fullerton leaders receive 2014 awards from International Center for Supplemental Instruction (article1, article2)
  • CSU Fullerton lauded for efforts to close achievement gap (article)

History of Supplemental Instruction

In 1973, Supplemental Instruction was developed by Dr. Deanna Martin at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC). After becoming a public institution in 1963, the changing demographics at UMKC led to a rise in student attrition. Dr. Martin was hired to develop a non-remedial and proactive approach to solving the attrition problem among minority and female professional school students in medicine, pharmacy, and dentristy. She proposed and then successfully piloted what would become Supplemental Instruction- a program that could yield measurable results, be cost effective, and help students work toward becoming independent learners without lowering academic standards. Since its inception at UMKC, the International Center for Supplemental Instruction has trained faculty and staff from over 3,500 institutions. Supplemental instruction has expanded into international programs in at least 30 countries worldwide.

See Volume 1, Issue 1 of The Official Journal of the International Center for Supplemental Instruction.