About Supplemental Instruction


Top Components of SI:

  1. The SI Program targets historically difficult courses; those that have a high percentage of D, F, and Withdraw grades.
  2. SI does not identify high-risk students; all students in each course are highly encouraged to attend SI Sessions and Office Hours.
  3. Most of the courses that include SI are required courses for many students or they are considered a "gatekeeper," or prerequisite, course.
  4. SI is a voluntary program--students can choose when they want to attend.
  5. There is extensive training for all SI employees and the program supervises the SI Leaders throughout the semester.

During each study session, SI Leaders provide study strategies for note taking, organization, and test preparation. They lead discussion and activities over lecture material in order to review and better prepare students for success in the class. The design of an SI Session is meant to be collaborative, involving all members of the session in hands-on, participatory learning.

SI Leaders are recommended by faculty teaching the courses and the SI Leaders attend extensive training prior to each semester, as well as continual training over the course of the semester. To prepare for weekly sessions, the SI Leaders attend all class meetings, take notes, read and understand assigned materials, along with communicate with the respective professor and SI Supervisor. SI Leaders have no impact on the course grades, so students may feel comfortable asking for additional assistance without fear that their grade might be negatively impacted. SI provides a comfortable space for students to grow as learners!


History of SI

Supplemental Instruction (SI) was created at The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) in 1973. The then doctoral student, Deanna Martin, created the SI program out of a dire need to assist UMKC's need of retaining students, keeping academic standards high, and helping students reach their goal of graduating.

Deanna piloted the first Supplemental Instruction program in 1973 in a human anatomy class at UMKC School of Dentistry. The program had elements that were attractive not just to the faculty on campus, but also to the students. With a budget increase, SI was placed in additional courses. Soon, other schools started their own SI programs and by 1981 the U.S. Department of Education named Supplemental Instruction an Exemplary Education Program. To date, over 225 institutions in 44 states have SI programs of their own, in addition to institutions in 7 different countries, including Australia, the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Sweden.


The International Center

The International Center for Supplemental Instruction is located at the University of Missouri – Kansas City (UMKC). The International Center serves as the hub for all things Supplemental Instruction. Trainings for those interested in launching SI programs on their own campuses take place throughout the year. The International Center has trained more than 1,500 representatives from 30 countries. To learn more, visit the International Center for Supplemental Instruction (UMKC).

Supplemental Instruction Links


Frequently Asked Questions

There is no limit. Any student enrolled in the designated course may attend at any time.

SI sessions serve as a study aid to the classroom experience, emphasizing clarification of material addressed in the classroom as well as expanding upon the material for review purposes.

The specifics regarding time and location of the SI sessions are shared within the courses.

SI sessions are free to any student enrolled in the designated course.

SI is voluntary, but attending may enhance your performance in the class.

SI sessions will meet anywhere from two to three times a week for an hour to an hour and a half, with set times and days for the semester.

Yes, you are welcome to attend as many sessions as you would like. Sessions will generally follow a similar outline, all discussing material as it is covered in class.

Yes, but students are highly encouraged to come at the beginning of each session. Sessions are structured and a student may miss important information by arriving any time after the start of each session.