STEM Retention Initiative
Supplemental Instruction @ GC
What is Supplemental Instruction (SI)?
- non-remedial, peer-facilitated tutoring/study sessions
- predominately first/second-year core classes with higher attrition rate or lower average course GPA
- encourage and mentor students in a given course
- the learner builds new knowledge in collaboration with peers
- SI affirms knowledge; builds confidence, leadership and communication skills
- students participating in SI benefit over non-participants by improved final course grades, graduation rates and cumulative GPA
Who are Supplemental Instructors?
- Employable, Full time enrolled student
- Successfully completed the course
- Inclined to teach
Basic responsibilities of the SIs (8 hour/week model):
- 3 hours - auditing class
- 2 hours - personal prep time and/or with professor
- 3 hours focused/study SI Sessions
Unique SI Activities @GC
- HISTORY: (lecture model) using SIs for classroom break-out sessions on era books – SIs as facilitators
- MATH: (computer lab model) student groups must meet with SIs to review their project proposals and practice their presentations before they present projects to the class
- CHEMISTRY: (studio lab model) SIs deliver mini-lectures during the SI evening sessions versus focusing on the homework problems to impact content knowledge; allows faculty to “flip” the classroom by using the SI to unpack content with students necessary for them to engage in critical-thinking experiences in the classroom
- BIOLOGY: (science hybrid lab/lecture model) SIs help with lab once per week – SIs connected more with students and developed a broader view of concepts
- BIOLOGY: (science lab model) SIs assisted instructor with proper lab techniques and interpretation
How to get involved
The Learning Center @ GC
From the "student perspective":
- The SIs helped me a lot with projects and working with groups helped me better understand the problems.
- SI reviews before the tests were helpful.
- The SIs are good at explaining everything in terms that students will understand.
- I gained a lot of insight into what the professor is looking for when it comes to the class as well as my fundamental knowledge that we should be able to know and answer questions about with no difficulty was also strengthened.
- I would highly recommend that anyone who has not been to one of these meetings to come by and give it a try. Even if you aren’t lost in what we are working on it can still be helpful just to listen to questions that other people in the class have.
- (SI) helped me in a few ways. It introduced me to the fact that other students have done well in the class and are there to help you and I learned a lot of value information.
- (The SIs) have also exceeded my expectations as student instructors. They have been more than willing to answer any questions, share experiences they have had related to the instructors or class, and even emailed the notes to people who attended the SI session. This showed me that they are truly there to help us.
From the "SI perspective":
- I made an A in the course but I never truly understood the material until I had to teach it!
- Great opportunity to understand my major on a deeper level. I would recommend being an SI and wish I would have become one before my senior year.
- I love this job. It makes me passionate & motivated about my future career.