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Why Supplemental Instruction

Three SI atendees looking at one another while holding worksheets and pencils

How will SI help you?

  • National data shows that regular SI attendees average one-half to one full letter grade above those who do not attend SI
  • It's guaranteed study time!
  • It's FREE and students may attend as often as they like
  • Students have a chance to review course content before exams
  • Students will learn study skills that can be applied to other classes

FAQs about SI

How do I know if my course offers SI?

You can always check the current SI schedule to see if your course offers SI at Class Listings.  Also, if your class is supported by SI, an SI Leader will make a short presentation during your class early in the semester. 

What goes on during an SI session?

During SI sessions, the SI Leader will facilitate an activity related to recent material covered in the lecture. The goal is to have students become involved with the material and also introduce good study skills and habits. Some activities may include practice quizzes, vocabulary building games, creating review sheets, or collectively working on problems on the board. SI sessions involve working on course material, so be sure to bring your notes, textbook, and any other resources that you may need.

When do SI sessions start?

SI sessions generally start the third week of the semester. Check the Class Listings page for up-to-date information.

Must I attend all SI sessions for my class?

SI is voluntary, so you can attend as often as you like.  However, statistics show that students who attend SI regularly tend to have better grades than those who do not.

What is an "historically difficult class"?

Following the guidelines developed by the University of Missouri at Kansas City, SUNY Cortland defines a class as 'historically-difficult' as one in which 30% of the students enrolled in that class consistently earn a D or failing grade, or end up withdrawing from the course altogether.

What is an SI leader?

SI Leaders are students themselves.  They have demonstrated competence in the course, are approved by the professor(s) of that course, and have completed an intensive two-day training session before the beginning of the semester. SI Leaders model good student behavior by attending all class sessions, taking notes, and reading all assigned material.

SI leaders share what they've learned about how to study.  They know the course content and are eager to help.  SI leaders are NOT lecturers.  Their job is to help students think about the lectures and assigned readings by facilitating discussions and activities.  Studies have shown that this collaborative approach to learning not only helps students better understand and remember specific course content, but also helps students discover how they learn best.

I'm interested in being an SI leader.  What are the application criteria?

Please visit this page for all information about being an SI leader, and for a link to our application: http://www2.cortland.edu/offices/asap/supplemental-instruction/employment.dot

Who do I contact with more questions?

The SI Coordinators at SUNY Cortland, Jeanine Rose and Susan Mayberry, are also professional tutors in the Academic Support and Achievement Program (ASAP). They are responsible for identifying the targeted courses, gaining faculty support, selecting the SI Leaders each semester, monitoring the quality of SI sessions, and evaluating the overall effectiveness of the SI program.  Please email Jeanine (jeanine.rose@cortland.edu) or Susan (susan.mayberry@cortland.edu) with any additional questions.