Instructors are an essential component of the Supplemental Instruction (SI) program at Brazosport Community College.
Supplemental Instruction Leaders are not Teaching Assistants nor are they Tutors. They are simply "study group leaders" that actively communicate with the professor they are assigned to sway the study group in the right direction.
Supplemental Instruction (SI) is an academic support program utilizing peer-assisted study sessions to enhance student performance and retention. SI was first developed by Deanna Martin, Ph.D., at the University of Missouri at Kansas City in 1973. Brazosport College established a SI program targeting traditionally difficult entry-level courses that result in a high percentage of D or F grades and withdrawal rates. Since its implementation, students who have attended SI sessions earned statistically significant higher final course grades and drop out of courses less frequently than non-participants.
SI offers regularly scheduled study sessions to assist students with course content and study skills. In addition, students have an opportunity to work together to compare notes, discuss readings, develop organizational tools, and predict exam questions. The SI sessions are facilitated by SI Leaders. SI Leaders are current students who have demonstrated academic competency in the subject area, and are trained in facilitating group activities using collaborative learning methods.
Key Elements of Supplemental Instruction
- SI identifies traditionally difficult academic courses rather than high risk students; SI is not a remedial academic program.
- SI provides an opportunity for students to learn how to learn while learning what to learn.
- Participation in SI is voluntary, free, and open to all students in the course.
- SI Leaders attend all lectures for targeted course.
- SI Leaders are trained in group facilitation methods, student learning theory, and study techniques.
- SI program is supervised by a trained professional staff member from the Academic Success Center.
- The SI program is only offered in classes in which the academic department supports SI.
- SI sessions begin the 2nd week of classes after students have given input as to when sessions will be scheduled.
- SI Leaders facilitate and encourage the group to process the material. Leaders are not considered experts in the subjects and they do not relecture to participants.
Research and Assessment
Data collected by the Center for Supplemental Instruction at the University of Missouri-Kansas City from 719 institutions in the United States and 146 institutions in twelve other countries demonstrates two key findings:
- Students participating in SI earn higher course grades and withdraw less often than non-SI participants.
- The more sessions a student attends, the higher the final course grade.
Since the implementation of Supplemental Instruction at Brazosport College, data collected supports the national trends. To continually assess the impact of SI participation, course rosters and additional student variables are obtained from the Registrar's office each semester. Instructors may be contacted to obtain permission to receive test grades during the semester. This information is used to evaluate the progress of the SI sessions and to encourage more students to attend SI. Students' names are not reported in outcome data. Test scores and final grades are destroyed promptly upon completion of final reports. Faculty may review a copy of each report following the completion of the semester.
We are developing further assessment and research using our data, and we welcome interest from faculty members who would like to partner with us on a project.