Students working on math at whiteboard

Photo provided by Special Collections Department / Iowa State University Library

A SI Leader is an undergraduate student who provides peer academic support for an assigned course. SI Leaders assist in student learning and retention at Iowa State University through facilitation of SI sessions that help students better understand concepts and applications of course content.

Each semester, we hire more than 50 undergraduate SI Leaders. Based on policies of the graduate college, we cannot hire graduate students.

Become an SI Leader

We have completed hiring for spring 2018. Applications for Fall 2018 will be accepted beginning in March.  Please read the position description and FAQ section to learn more about the SI Leader position.

For consideration, candidates must possess the following qualifications:

  • Enrollment as an Iowa State University undergraduate student
  • Minimum ISU cumulative GPA: 3.00/4.00
  • Minimum semester GPA for the most recent academic semester completed: 3.00/4.00
  • Grade of B+ or higher in course(s) you desire to lead
    **Please note: we do not provide SI Leaders with any training in specific content areas (ex: math), which is why this knowledge of course content is expected prior to application.
    **If you are currently enrolled in the course and do not yet have a final grade determined, please have your instructor complete the Current Grade Form.
  • Self-motivation and direction to work independently with limited supervision
  • Empathy for and understanding of a diverse group of students
  • Ability to speak and present information to large audiences

SI Leaders will:

  • Attend all lectures with students to relearn course content, stay on pace with instruction, and build rapport
  • Promote SI and motivate students to attend SI sessions through class announcements, board reminders, and electronic communication
  • Creatively plan for SI sessions including preparing interactive activities, worksheets, and other resources that encourage peer-to-peer learning
  • Facilitate three 50-minute SI sessions per week using collaborative and active learning strategies
  • Participate in staff development activities and continuous leadership development opportunities including SI Leader orientation, SI Leader retreat, staff meetings, individual meetings with an SI Supervisor or Mentor, and observations of peer SI Leaders
  • Complete administrative responsibilities including taking and submitting attendance, submitting wage reports, maintaining website in a timely manner
  • Develop relationships with students, SI supervisors, and course instructor(s) and facilitate relationship-building among students
  • Assist students in becoming familiar with study skills and university resources
  • Role model good student behavior and act in a professional manner

SI Leaders will earn $10.50 per hour for time spent attending class, preparing for sessions, and facilitating sessions. For most Leaders, this is nine hours per week.

Leaders are also required to participate in orientation, staff meetings, retreat, and other related professional development opportunities throughout the semester and are compensated accordingly.


Frequently Asked Questions and Exceptions

Which courses will have SI?

Courses are typically determined one semester in advance. On your application, please list all courses for which you are interested in being an SI Leader and you feel qualified to lead.

I am currently enrolled in a course for which I want to apply to be a Leader. Can I apply before I receive my final grade?

Yes, you can apply to be an SI Leader for the upcoming semester if you are still enrolled in the course. If your final grade has not been determined by the time you apply, please have your current instructor complete the Current Grade Form. This form will be used to gauge your current progress in the course. If you are offered a future SI Leader position prior to completion of the course, your offer will be conditional until your final grade in the course can be verified.

Can I be a Leader for a course while I am enrolled as a student in the course?

No. You cannot be working towards a grade in the class and be an SI Leader at the same.

Can I apply if I am an international student?

Yes, if you first confirm that you have "work eligible immigration status." To check on your status, please contact the International Students and Scholars Office (3248 Memorial Union, 294-1120). Please verify your work eligibility before applying.

Can I apply if I will be transferring to Iowa State University, or if I transferred to ISU? 

Yes, if:

  • Your completed the course at another accredited institution,
  • The course credit is transferring to ISU as a direct equivalent or substitute, and
  • You earned a B+ or higher in the course.

Please submit a copy of your transcript from previous colleges/universities to show us the grade you earned and to demonstrate your academic ability, based on your GPA. Since differences may exist between your prior course content and the course(s) for which you want to be an SI Leader, also be prepared to demonstrate how your prior course content relates to the Iowa State University course content. You can refer to the University Catalog for a comparison of courses.

Can I apply to be a Leader for a course that I have tested out of, or a course that I will not take at ISU?

For some courses, we will consider you as a candidate for a course you will not take at ISU, if you have already completed related, higher-level coursework. Some examples:

An applicant who has completed... ...can be a Leader for:
BIOL 211/212 BIOL 101 or 155
CHEM 177 (or higher general chemistry courses) CHEM 163 or 167
CHEM 331/332 CHEM 231
MATH 165 (or higher calculus courses) MATH 151 or 160
PHYS 221 (or higher physics courses) PHYS 111
PHYS 241/242 PHYS 221/222

Contact Us

If you have a question regarding becoming a Supplemental Instruction Leader, please call our office (515-294-6624) or e-mail