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What is SI?Supplemental Instruction (SI) sessions are weekly review sessions for students enrolled in historically difficult courses. SI targets tough courses! SI provides a chance for students to get together with people in the class to compare notes, discuss important concepts, develop strategies for studying the subject, and to test themselves before the professor does, so that when he/she does, students are ready. SI is provided for all students who want to improve their understanding of course material and improve their grades. The sessions are facilitated by a trained SI leader.
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What is an SI leader?SI leaders are students themselves who have taken the class before and earned a high grade. They are prepared to share with other students what they have learned about how to study effectively for the course. They know the course content and are anxious to help guide students through it. They’ll also be in class every day, taking notes and listening closely to the professor.
How are SI leaders selected?Students are selected by their cooperating faculty members in conjunction with the Academic Support Center. They must meet a minimum GPA requirement of 3.0 and have received an A or B in the course for which they are assigned.
What’s in it for the students?Research shows that students who attend SI sessions are regularly average one half to one full letter grade higher than their classmates who choose not to attend. Attending SI helps students develop a better understanding of course content as well as more effective ways of studying.
How does it work?At each session the SI leader will guide students through course concepts, a competent student who has previously taken the course and been trained in group facilitation techniques. The leader will not re-lecture or give out his/her class notes. The leader will not do homework or thinking for the students. The SI leader will help students make good use of study time. After all, students have to study anyway. They might as well do it with other students so that they can share strategies he/she used to be successful in the course. It is their job to help students think about the lectures they hear and the books they read, and then put it all together into some kind of perspective during SI sessions so learning happens more effectively.
When do sessions start?SI sessions start the first or second week of classes. SI sessions and times are not determined until the students in the class provide their availability. Students will complete a survey on the first day of class that asks for their schedule. The SI leader will look at the schedule and find times that work best for the majority of the students in the class. Starting these sessions early is one of the keys to the success of the program.
What does it cost?SI costs the students nothing except your time. Assistance is free! Come as often as you like. Keep in mind, though, the statistics show that the more you come, the better your grade. SI leaders are compensated financially for their service through the Academic Support Center.
How do students know if SI is offered in their class?On the first day of class the SI leader will make an announcement about SI. Each SI leader will set up two to three review sessions a week that are best for the majority of the class. Students can attend as many sessions as they want. And each one will be different because there will be new material to discuss. SI sessions are informal. Students should bring class notes, their textbook, and all of their questions.
Contact UsJohn J. Montemayor
Academic Support Center
Office: 864-503-5124Fax: 864-503-5931
The University of South Carolina Upstate is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate and masters degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia, 30033 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of USC Upstate. Comments or Complaints?