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The Supplemental Instruction (SI) program is designed to proactively support students enrolled in supported sections of traditionally challenging courses. SI sessions are offered twice weekly to help students increase their understanding of the course material while learning applied study skills from a peer leader who has successfully completed the course. Through structured one-hour sessions in an academic setting, students are encouraged to work collaboratively to identify what to learn and how to learn it. International data suggests that students who regularly attend SI sessions are more likely to earn a higher grade in the course.

RIT's Supplemental Instruction (SI) program is certified by the International Center for Supplemental Instruction at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. 

For more information on the mission and philosophy of SI, visit the International Center for Supplemental Instruction.



What are the essential elements of SI?
  1. SI is facilitated by a peer leader who recently completed the course with an A or B. SI Leaders are not hired as content experts, as they are asked not to teach or tutor students. Instead, SI Leaders schedule, plan and facilitate structured study sessions each week.
  2. The SI Leader is a model student, rather than an authority figure. Having recently completed the course, SI Leaders share what it took to be successful when they had it. For example, using professor’s office hours, college tutoring centers, and ASC academic coaching.
  3. SI Leaders embed healthy academic routines into the course they are assigned to support.
  4. SI Leaders regularly attend the class meetings, including all quiz and exam days. This not only benefits the students, but the SI Leader’s ability to be fully in touch with what’s happening in class each day. For example, they know if they students are attending class and are aware of specific examples that the professor covers.
  5. SI Leaders meet for weekly training, which are modeled in the style of an actual SI session. SI Leaders are regularly observed to ensure quality of service provided to student participants, while informing future training topics.
  6. The SI program is coordinated by staff trained through UMKC’s Supervisor Training.
  7. Faculty supports the program by allowing SI Leaders to fully participate as a student in the class, as well as assisting us with identifying new SI Leader candidates.
  8. Regularly scheduled sessions are offered from the start of the term, and participation is always voluntary and anonymous.
  9. Program evaluation takes place to improve quality, as well as to inform campus partners of outcomes.
  10. SI targets challenging courses, rather than struggling students.


What is an SI Leader?

Have you ever wished you could do something over, knowing what you know now? That’s impossible, but students can come close in SI. SI Leaders are students themselves and are prepared to share with students what they have learned over the years about how to study. They are familiar with the course content and are there to help guide students through it. They will be in class every day, hearing what students hear and reading what students read. What they will not do is teach. Their job is to help students think about the lecture they hear and the books they read and then put it into perspective during SI study sessions so students can learn it more efficiently.

What's in it for students?

Supporting research has shown that students who regularly attend SI are more likely to earn a letter grade higher than their classmates that do not attend SI sessions. They will develop a better understanding of course content as well as more effective ways of studying. This will help in other classes too.

When do SI sessions start?

During the first few days of class, the SI Leader will introduce themselves and ask students to take a short survey so that they are able to know when the best time to schedule sessions will be. SI sessions will be scheduled for twice a week. Students may attend both or just one. SI sessions are informal. Participants should bring their notes, textbook, homework, and QUESTIONS!

How do we know what classes will have SI?

Currently supported courses have been identified based on the historical rates of D, F, & W’s in the class. These courses have proven to be difficult in the past and the AIM Team has worked with the departments to identify the most appropriate placement of SI.

What support is available to students?

Please note that participation in SI study sessions is limited to students enrolled in the supported course section. All students enrolled in a supported section are welcome and encouraged to participate in weekly sessions for their section. We also encourage students to take advantage of the many other resources available to them, such as their professor’s office hours, department tutoring centers, the Bates and Sol Study Centers, and Academic Coaching within the Academic Success Center.


Stephanie Haynes

Coordinator, Supplemental Instruction


2140-A Student Alumni Union