Information for Faculty
Supplemental Instruction (SI) was first developed in 1973 at the University of Missouri at Kansas City by Dr. Deanna Martin. SI targets traditionally difficult, key gateway and bottleneck courses; those that have a large number of students receiving a grade of C-, D, F, or W. Supplemental Instruction focuses on student retention and the act of facilitating learning, which is accomplished in SI though the identification of the difficult course, placement of a SI Leader, and regularly scheduled peer-facilitated SI or study group sessions. The goal of SI is to create independent learners; and the SI leader, is the link between the actual class and SI session, where course readings, content, and material are brought together with effective learning strategies in a collaborative learning environment. Through SI, students gain the ability to synthesize ideas and formulate questions regarding course content and material, and ultimately take power over their own learning. Students of all academic and learning abilities and levels benefit from participating in SI sessions.
CSUF piloted its SI Program, adopted after the UMKC model, in 2007 in several Calculus and Introductory Biology courses for majors. By spring 2009, we expanded the SI Program at CSUF: 10 SI workshop sections were offered in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics; The University Learning Center (ULC), also supported courses with SI in the Colleges of Humanities and Social Sciences, and Engineering and Computer Science. The two SI programs continued to grow throughout fall 2009, as SI sessions/workshops increased to 35. Beginning fall 2010, the ULC and the Department of Mathematics began a dialogue about the two SI programs to find ways in which they could join forces to better meet the needs of the larger campus community. In 2013-2014, thanks to an ambitious CSU Chancellor’s Office program to improve student success (retention, graduation rates, closing the achievement gap) SI was institutionalized at CSUF as a recognized student success high impact practice.
The Supplemental Instruction Program at California State University, Fullerton is a campus-wide effort involving meaningful collaboration between faculty, staff, administrators, and students within and across colleges. In particular, there is a strong positive working relationship between Academic Affairs and Student Affairs. Currently, the SI Program at CSUF supports over 40 courses and 157 sections across 5 Colleges. Departments that are supported by SI include: Accounting, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Economics, Finance, Geology, ISDS, Kinesiology, Math, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, and Public Health.