Some Courses Are Just Difficult
You’re sitting in class, paying close attention to a process or concept that’s being introduced, and you think, “Wait. What?? Uh-oh, I’m really not getting this” ... and it’s ok; in fact, your classmates may be thinking the same thing.
Some of the courses you’ll take at New York Tech are exceptionally challenging. Their complex subject matter and applications require extra time and practice to absorb and master. That’s where Supplemental Instruction (SI) comes to the rescue. It’s an organized, peer-led, discussion-based approach to tackling those tough courses together, outside of your regular class meetings.
How SI works
- Certain course sections are chosen to participate in SI, prior to the semester start, based on the students’ or professor’s request and interest.
- If you’re enrolled in a course that has SI sessions, you’re in! Your SI Leader will make announcements in class about the program and will let you know the dates and times of the SI sessions. You can also check out the weekly SI schedule online.
- SI Sessions are typically held twice a week throughout the semester and are facilitated by SI Leaders who are undergraduate students, recommended by the professor, who have mastered the course content.
- At the SI sessions, you will review challenging concepts, discuss readings, prepare for exams, and learn the best study skills and strategies to support your learning.
- Watch your grades increase! Research shows that students who consistently attend SI session tend to receive ½ - 1 grade higher than those who don’t.
The Role of the SI Leader
SI leaders are undergraduate students who have already passed the selected course with a grade of A- or A, and who possess strong time management and organizational skills. They are not teaching assistants or co-instructors. Here’s what they do:
- Attend all classes for the assigned course, just as a student would, and take notes in preparation for upcoming SI sessions.
- Prepare structured SI sessions to review and reinforce difficult material introduced in class. In addition to group study and discussion, this might include administering practice quizzes or teaching organizational and study practices to enhance mastery of the course work and subject matter.
- Keep the course instructor informed about topics the students have shown progress or particular difficulty grasping during SI sessions.
The Role of the Course Instructor
Faculty members who teach a course that includes Supplemental Instruction:
- Recommend qualified students to serve as SI Leaders.
- Maintain consistent communication with SI Leaders and provide feedback on the program.
- Encourage students to attend weekly SI Sessions.
- Work closely with the Advising as it pertains to the program’s administration.