Frequently Asked Questions for Students
What is SI?
Supplemental Instruction is an academic assistance program which provides weekly, peer-led group study sessions for students taking historically difficult courses (those with high D, F or W rates).
SI sessions are led by a SI leader who has already mastered the course material and has been trained to facilitate group sessions where students can meet to improve their understanding of course material, review and discuss important concepts, develop study strategies and prepare for exams. SI is provided for all students who want to improve their understanding of course material and improve their grades; it is not just for those students who are struggling.
Attendance at SI sessions is free and voluntary. Students may attend as many times as they choose. SI sessions begin the first two weeks of class and continue throughout the semester.
How do I know if SI is offered for my course?
You may check the online SI Schedule for a list of courses and SI sessions for the current semester. Additionally, during the first week of the semester, the SI Leaders will announce and distribute information regarding the days, times, and location of upcoming SI sessions. Your professor and SI leader will both continue to remind you throughout the semester of SI session times.
What’s an SI Leader?
SI leaders are students who have taken the class previously, and were successful in it. They know the course content, and are eager and prepared to share with you what they know about the course content, and have learned over the years about how to study. They will be in class with you every day, hearing what you hear and reading what you read. Their job is to help you think about the course lectures, readings, assignments, and exams. Your SI leader will bring together course content and study skills, in a collaborative manner, to help you learn more efficiently.
Will my professor be there?
SI is an instructor free zone. The focus of SI is on peer learning, in a collaborative learning environment. What this means is that you will have an SI leader (a student who has already taken the course) who will create activities, games, and worksheets to help you learn the course material in a fun, interactive, and engaging way that is different from traditional classroom learning where you sit at a desk. Your professor won’t be present, however, we still strongly encourage you to take advantage of his/her office hours and attend class regularly.
What can I expect at an SI session?
Think of SI as guaranteed study time. Why study alone, when you can study with classmates and an SI leader who knows the material and will help keep you focused on the material. Moreover, 1 hour of SI time equals 2 ½ hours of individual study time! SI sessions consist of several interactive activities which allow students to work together to explore important concepts, review class notes, discuss reading assignments, practice test-taking strategies, and prepare for examinations.
Who attends SI?
SI is open to all students enrolled in a specific course. So, even if your SI Leader does not regularly attend your lectures, you can still attend the SI sessions. SI is provided for all students who want to improve their understanding of course material and improve their grades; it is not just for those students who are struggling. Studies show that students of all academic and learning abilities benefit from participating in SI sessions, and earn on average a half to full grade higher than those who do not participate
What is expected of me during an SI session?
Because of the collaborative nature of and all the personal interaction during SI sessions, you are expected to come prepared to study. This means you should always bring your textbook, lecture notes, class handouts, and any questions or problems you may have. Doing so guarantees the best use of your time during SI.
Of course, you are expected to attend class meeting and lectures. SI is academic support for the course; it is not an opportunity for you to skip class. Lastly, you are expected to attend SI on a weekly basis. National SI research indicates that students who regularly attend SI perform better on exams and earn higher final course grades.
What’s in it for me?
If you attend SI sessions regularly, chances are you’ll earn a better grade. Research shows that those students who attend SI sessions regularly average on half to one full letter grade higher than their classmates who choose not to attend. When you attend SI, you’ll develop a better understanding of course content as well as more effective ways of studying. You’ll most likely make new friends too!
When do SI sessions start?
SI sessions begin meeting during the first two weeks of the semester. Check the online SI Schedule and/or with your SI Leader for days, times, and location. SI leaders offer two or more regularly scheduled SI sessions that are held in designated classrooms on campus. SI sessions meet throughout the semester on the same day, at the same time and in the same location.
How much does SI cost?
SI sessions are free to all CSUF students. The only thing we ask for in return is your time and effort. Come as often as you like, but keep in mind that SI statistics show the more you attend SI, the better your grade.
If I did not start attending SI sessions at the beginning of the semester, can I still attend later?
Yes, better late than never! SI works best when you attend on a consistent basis; however, new students are always welcome. Don’t forget that each SI session follows the course lecture and readings for that day, so please do not assume that you can cram weeks of study into one or two SI sessions.