"Supplemental Instruction (SI) is an academic support model that utilizes peer-assisted study sessions. The SI program provides regularly scheduled review sessions on course materials outside the classroom. SI study sessions are informal seminars in which students compare notes, discuss readings, predict test items and develop tools for effective organization. The SI program targets traditionally difficult courses . . ." (University of Missouri--Kansas City, Academic Support and Mentoring, 2016).


Information for Students

Research has shown that students who attend Supplemental Instruction (SI) were more likely to pass the course that had SI associated with it and received a higher grade than students who did not attend SI.  In addition, the more hours of SI that a student attended the more successful he or she was in the course. 

A research study about Supplement Instruction conducted at Cypress College in California found that students who attended less than 12 hours of SI had a 54% success rate, students who attended more than 12 hours had an 83% success rate but students who did not attend SI at all only had a 42% success rate (Effects of Supplemental Instruction on Performance, 2010).

Some instructors make SI optional; however, from the standpoint of using all the tools available to you to be a successful college student, you should view SI as mandatory and attend as many sessions as possible.


  • Effects of Supplemental Instruction on Performance. (2010). Cypress College. Retrieved from here.
  • Academic Support and Mentoring. (2016) University of Missouri-Kansas City.  Retrieved from here.


Information for Faculty

Any faculty member may request a supplement instruction leader for any of their courses.  It does not matter what the faculty's tenure status is or whether they are full-time or adjunct.  Adding Supplemental Instruction to your classes is a proactive way to help your students versus being reactive when students are struggling.  A Supplemental Instruction Leader (SI Leader) is hand-picked by the instructor and the student must meet these requirements:

  • have taken the course they are a SI Leader for and earned a B or better
  • have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better and a session GPA of 2.5 or better
  • be someone who works well with others and will be patient, understanding, and kind to students who struggle
  • have good communication skills.

The faculty member is encouraged to have the SI Leader attend all class meetings so that the SI leader knows what is being covered in class so that he or she can best help the students.  Your SI Leader is like a model student and can even pitch in during group work activities to keep students on target. Faculty are expected to communicate weekly with the SI Leader to explain what he or she would like the SI Leader to focus on in outside of class sessions with students and to explain his or her expectations for the SI Leader.  The SI Leader can also provide useful feedback to the instructor regarding concepts students are struggling with or information that may need to be reviewed.

Supplement Instruction is paid for by the Student Success Center and the SI Leaders are required to turn in weekly time sheets.  If the SI Leader is chronically late or misses more than two Supplemental Instruction sessions, he or she will be removed from the SI Leader position.

SI Leaders are NOT Teaching Assistants. They cannot grade papers or teach classes.

For more information about Supplemental Instruction, contact Heather Cantrell, Assistant Director of Advising and Academic Resources, at ext. 4555 or  If you have identified a student whom you would like to be an SI leader, please have the student fill out the Become a Tutor form to get the paperwork started.