Students working on math at whiteboard

Photo provided by Special Collections Department / Iowa State University Library


What is SI?

Supplemental Instruction (SI) is an internationally recognized academic support program. SI is a voluntary program that offers free, regularly scheduled study sessions for traditionally difficult courses. SI sessions are facilitated by SI Leaders who are undergraduate students who have previously taken the course and demonstrated academic competency in the subject area. Each SI Leader facilitates at least three 50-minute sessions per week using collaborative learning methods.

SI sessions are offered for more than 30 courses. Specific information can be found on the SI schedule.

Why SI?

Students who participate in SI:

  • Learn how to learn while learning what to learn.
  • Work collaboratively with peer students in a facilitated environment.
  • Receive support from a trained, educated SI Leader.

Our data suggests that the more often students attend, the higher their final grades will be in the course. We recommend attending SI at least once per week.

Student Comments

My SI Leader was great. She broke down the overwhelming subject matter into bite size pieces. She gave us strategies for helping us understand and apply information to the tests.

My first test score was an F. I went to SI and my second score was a B-.

The SI Leader was a really good teacher who was really concerned about how much we learned. He was very friendly and went out of his way to help us understand the material.

I thought [SI Leader] did a great job. She was not only effective at teaching the concepts and ideas in fun ways, (often better than the actual instructors), but she was also friendly and approachable. Her review before exams and practice tests were especially helpful.

I learned a lot from SI and my grades improved from going to SI. I not only learned but I became friends with the SI Leader.

SI Leaders

SI Leaders are current ISU undergraduate students who have successfully completed the course or related coursework. All Leaders are supervised by trained professional staff members in the Academic Success Center. SI Leaders facilitate and encourage group learning of course material rather than act as authority figures who lecture to participants.

Become an SI Leader

We have completed hiring SI Leaders for spring 2018.  Applications for Fall 2018 will open in March.

Contact Us

If you have a question regarding Supplemental Instruction, please call our office (515-294-6624), e-mail, or contact our staff directly.

Name Title Email
Leif Olsen Program Coordinator, Supplemental Instruction
Morgan Sanders Graduate Assistant, Supplemental Instruction
Grace RitterGraduate Assistant, Supplemental