When taking a challenging course, experts say it’s beneficial to get help outside of the classroom. The Academic Resource Center is an excellent resource, but Pierce College takes one step further with the Supplemental Instruction program.
“SI provides an advantage because the SI leader has been through the course recently and knows what to expect,” SI chemistry instructor Dalana Dailey said.
SI isn’t offered for every course, but for some courses such as chemistry and math, an SI leader is chosen to lead a class that takes place outside of a lecture. It provides students a chance to work with their peers, go over homework, study for tests, participate in review activities and take notes.
“SI training is all about how to conduct sessions,” Dailey said.
SI leaders are required to have earned a 3.0 gpa in that course and have a teacher recommendation. They share tips and strategies that worked for them in the course and attend classes with the students to design sessions that review appropriate and relevant material.
“All SI leaders must have completed all levels of tutor training as well as SI training,” Dailey said. “The tutor trainings include subjects such as adult returning learners, redirecting questions, resource scavenger hunts, ethics, personality styles, learning styles and motivations.”
Attending SI can also improve skills that may not apply only to class. There is a number of study techniques from worksheets to jeopardy sessions. Some of the classes even offer extra credit that is up to the professor.
“Some of the courses offering SI this quarter include physics, biology, math and early childhood education,” Dailey said.
SI can be a tool for mastering difficult courses. The leaders have been successful in the course they teach and trained in ways to help current students.
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