Supplemental instruction works for students
By Avery Loflin
For the past two semesters a math professor on campus has been teaching one of his math classes with the initials SI beside it. SI stands for Supplemental Instruction, which is a type of tutoring session that is available in certain classes.
Supplemental Instruction is a form of tutoring, but is limited to only the students in that class. A special qualified tutor sits in a class, and they set up tutoring times for the students outside of the class period.
Professor Steve Hunt is an active user of an SI class, and he sees it as an opportunity for those who might otherwise fail to pass if they participate in the tutoring.
"It is an effective tool for those that take advantage of the program. The students that utilize SI are the "fence-setters." They are those students that could go either way—pass or fail," Hunt said.
Most of the classes that have seen high failure rates over the years are the ones that use the SI opportunity, that is not offered in courses in a major.
"Historically SI is reserved for classes that usually have a high failure rate. Not all classes warrant a SI. Once a student enters his or her major, they should be fine," Hunt said.
It can be hard as a student to attend these meetings. Most students want an incentive, but Hunt does not tell the students that they will receive one if they attend.
"Students need to attend for all the right reasons," Hunt said.
"I have incentive for students at the end of the semester. However, I don't mention the incentives early on," Hunt said.
SI is effective if students use it correctly, attend the meetings, go with questions and do the school work.
"Most who attend would normally fail. However, the attendees are usually successful in obtaining a passing grade. For the most part, students that attend SI gain a letter grade," Hunt said.