Departmental Planning

If you would like to learn more about SI or if you would like to become a new departmental partner with the SI Program, please contact

Planning Information

The document below provides information for faculty and administrators who are interested in partnering with SI to support a course within their department.

Benefits of SI to Academic Departments and the Institution

National research on the Supplemental Instruction program supports the following claims about the benefits of SI:

  • SI is cost effective.
  • SI assists students with comprehension of course content and development of study skills.
  • SI lowers attrition rates in courses.
  • SI participants are more likely to be retained at Iowa State University.
  • SI helps students improve exam grades and final course grades.
  • SI supports instructors by maintaining high expectations & standards.
  • SI enhances classroom experiences.

These benefits are based on actual student performance and student feedback, not our perceived benefits of the program. Additional information about the assessment of SI at Iowa State University is also available.

Funding for SI Sessions 

SI typically receives funding from the Senior Vice President of Student Affairs, and the Senior Vice President and Provost. This pool of "central funding" is used to provide SI sessions for the most students possible based on specific criteria.

The Resource Management Model encourages "effective ways to accomplish the goals of the university's strategic plan" and "rewards units that focus on high quality education, research, and outreach programs." We are willing to partner with you! We are willing to coordinate SI sessions for any course in any academic department that is willing to fund the SI Leader. 

Criteria Used to Select Targeted Courses for SI 

Every course is a candidate, but the following criteria are used to determine which courses receive SI sessions that are supported by our central funding: 

  • Support of Department Chair, Course Coordinator, and/or College Dean
  • Support of Instructor(s) for the course
  • Percent of students earning below a C or dropping the course
  • Course size (over 300 students for a course; over 150 per section)
  • Course format (we target lecture courses)
  • 100- or 200-level course
  • Mean final course grade
  • Number of students repeating the course
  • Number of tutoring requests at the Academic Success Center
  • Perceived level of difficulty
  • The course does not have a majors only or department only designation
  • For courses with a prior history of SI:
    • SI vs. Non-SI participant final course grade received.
    • Number of contact hours spent in SI sessions for course.

The above criteria ensure we support the greatest number of students possible in courses for which SI is successful. Centrally funded SI must target courses that meet most or all of the criteria. We will support SI for any course if an academic department is willing to fund the SI Leader. We encourage departments to review the above criteria to determine the usefulness of SI, but for departmentally funded SI, we specifically need:

  • Support of Department Chairperson
  • Support of Instructor(s) for the course
  • Commitment by the department to fund SI for the course

Contact Us

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