Benefits and Outcomes of SI

Review the outcomes of the Utah State University SI program for the most recent Fall and Spring semesters and Annual cumulative report.

  • In large General Education Breadth courses, where the majority of SI support is placed, instructors can refer students to SI sessions for additional out-of-class study assistance where the students have the opportunity to discuss and learn in small groups.
  • SI helps students actively review course material to prepare for tests, while learning effective study skills and learning strategies necessary for success in the course.
  • Faculty can provide students individual help during office hours, as well as refer students to SI for additional assistance.
  • Students who attend SI three or more times during the semester on average consistently earn course grades approximately half a course grade higher than non-participants.
  • SI leaders are trained and supervised through the Academic Resource Center. Course professors are encouraged to identify and refer students they believe would be qualified SI leaders.
  • The SI Training Program has earned Level I International Tutor Program Certification through the College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA).
  • SI leaders benefit from the collaborative mentoring relationships with course professors.

Further benefits

Supplemental Instruction (SI) is an academic success and retention program that focuses on historically difficult courses rather than high-risk students. A course that is considered historically difficult is one that has a D, F, and withdrawal rate of 30% or greater for several academic terms. Often, these are introductory courses in biology, chemistry, economics, physics, and the social sciences such as psychology and sociology. In general, any course may be high-risk when there is a gap between the rigors of mastering course content and the learning skills that students bring to that content.

The goal of SI is to help students learn how to learn the course content, earn higher grades, become independent learners, and remain enrolled until graduation. A major reason institutions choose SI is because it is a cost-effective and educationally effective program designed to retain and graduate students while protecting academic integrity. SI provides opportunities for all students in a traditionally difficult course to participate in a peer-led, active learning experience that integrates how-to-learn with what-to-learn.

Additional claims of SI effectiveness as validated by the United States Department of Education are:

Claim 1. Students who participate in SI earn higher mean final course grade averages than students who do not participate. This remains true even when differences in ethnicity and prior academic achievement are considered.

Claim 2. Students who participate in SI succeed at a higher rate (have lower withdrawal rates and receive lower percentages of D and F final course grades) than those who do not participate.

Claim 3. Students participating in SI persist, reenroll, and graduate from their higer ed institutions at higher rates than students who do not participate.

(reprinted with permission from the National Center for Supplemental Instruction, Kansas City, Missouri)