Supplemental Instruction (SI) is a free academic assistance program that utilizes out-of-class, peer-facilitated review sessions. Supplemental Instruction targets traditionally difficult academic (Gateway) courses – those that have a high rate of D or F grades and withdrawals.
- To increase retention within targeted historically difficult courses
- To improve student grades in targeted historically difficult courses
- To increase the graduation rates of students
The SI sessions include informal reviews in which students compare notes, discuss readings, develop organizational tools and predict test questions. Students learn how to integrate course content and study skills while working collaboratively.
The SI program is beneficial to everyone:
Students who attend SI sessions report higher course grades and learned study skills.
SI Leaders report professional development in Leadership and facilitation; they also report better, more developed relationships with faculty and a deeper understanding of the content for which they serve.
Faculty benefit from having SI support in their classes. Through interactions with the Leader, they have their finger on the pulse of the students in their class, they receive higher student evaluations, and they are more connected with the needs of their students.
SI sessions are facilitated by “SI leaders”, students who have previously done well in the course and who attend all class lectures, take notes, and act as model students. SI leaders receive comprehensive training by a trained and experienced SI Coordinator.
- Attend all class sessions
- Schedule 3-4 hours of out-of-class sessions each week
- Help students understand course concepts and study skills
- Help students foster connections with support services
- Demonstrate successful academic strategies and habits
- See Frequently Asked Questions for SI leaders
A Professor who chooses a student to work in and out of the classroom with them is known as a Supplemental Instruction Faculty, or SI Faculty. Their student is known as a Supplemental Instruction Leader, or SI Leader. A SI Faculty mentors the SI Leader, leading by example. SI Faculty serve as guides for their SI Leaders, both modeling behavior and creating and monitoring the role of SI Leaders working with students in and outside the classroom. The specific use of the SI Leader in and out of the classroom is up to each individual SI Faculty, but often includes the following areas:
- Before the semester begins, SI Faculty and the selected SI leader review the syllabus and schedule for the course.
- Working together, SI Faculty and their SI Leader create a roster of duties for the SI leaders to perform during class hours each week, such as the review of difficult areas of the subject matter.
- SI Faculty often allows class discussion time for the SI Leader to explain their strategy for success in solving a particular academic problem in that same class when they were a student.
- SI Faculty also help SI Leaders arrange for outside class activities, such as review for quizzes and meeting with students one-on-one, particularly students who are new to BMCC, to make them feel welcome and orient them to a college environment.
- SI Faculty help SI Leaders set up weekly ‘office hours’ in-person in a designated departmental space, on video calls like Zoom or on social media.
Some SI Faculty ask their SI Leaders to keep a log of activities the SI leader performs with students each week.
- Performance review of SI Leaders by SI Faculty is often done informally at the middle and end of the semester.
- See Frequently Asked Questions for SI faculty