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CFAA - Tutoring

Supplemental Instruction (SI)

SI is a structured study group designed to help students achieve success in "historically difficult" courses: those courses with consistently high rates of D's, F's, and W's (Withdrawals). The SI sessions are open to, and designed to serve, students enrolled in specific course sections. A trained SI leader will facilitate three hour-long sessions per week, focusing on difficult course content and engaging students using active learning strategies. Weekly SI sessions serve to reinforce course material, clarify confusing concepts, and approach course material from a fun and engaging perspective.

Who are SI Leaders?

SI leadership candidates are students who have taken the course and performed well.  They must possess strong leadership and interpersonal skills, as well as demonstrate a vested interest in supporting student success. Candidates are recruited and interviewed by the Coordinator of Learning Services, and their applications are reviewed by the instructor of the SI-associated course section. If selected by the Coordinator and the course instructor to be an SI leader, they must commit to attending every class meeting, participating in pre-semester and ongoing training, preparing session plans, and consistently conducting three weekly SI sessions for a full semester.  SI leaders are tasked with helping students think more deeply about the instructor's lectures and the readings covered in the course, and using innovative cognitive learning strategies to improve students' understanding of complex and challenging concepts.

Who can participate?

Students enrolled in an SI-supported course can attend all of the weekly sessions for their course. The SI schedule for a particular course section will be available through the class's syllabus, D2L site, and the CFAA's website.  Students who are not enrolled in a supported section will be referred to the other free services offered by the CFAA.

Why SI?

Empirical studies have shown consistently that students who regularly participate in SI earn from 1/3 to one whole letter grade higher in the course than those who do not.  Participants in ETSU's  SI program earned almost a full letter grade higher than those who did not attend, and participants reported the following to be their favorite parts of SI:

  • SI helps students gain a better understanding of course material.
  • The sessions serve as an excellent opportunity to review and study.
  • Students enjoy the different instructional styles used by SI leaders.
  • The smaller group size of the sessions allowed for more interaction.
  • Students had more opportunities to ask questions and were more comfortable doing so.
  • Participants found SI to be more "on their level" and pace. 
  • The opportunity to prepare for tests and practice potential test questions was valued.



SI is currently available for:

  • Biology I for Majors
  • Biology II for Majors
  • General Chemistry I
  • General Chemistry II
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