Supplemental Instruction (SI) is an internationally recognized academic success program. SI is a voluntary program that offers free, regularly scheduled study sessions for traditionally difficult courses. SI sessions are lead by current Wartburg undergraduate students who have successfully completed the course.

The SI leader will facilitate activities to help you better understand the course material and how to study smarter. You will compare notes with other students, get organized, and predict and prepare for test questions. The leader attends all class lectures and takes notes, so you can be sure that your leader knows what’s going on in your class and is working with the professor. The sessions are informal, and you can attend as many sessions as you like. Research indicates that students who participate at least three times during a term average one-half to one full letter grade higher and withdraw less than non-SI participants.

Learn new study techniques and when to use them most effectively

Review course material along with peers from the beginning of the term.

Schedule guaranteed study time

Learn from knowledgeable leaders trained in cooperative, active learning strategies and study skills

Integrate how-to-learn with what-to-learn

Earn higher grades

While we would like to offer SI for every course that is requested, we are unfortunately limited to how many courses we can support. To accommodate these requests, we have a set criteria that we adhere to when deciding to support a new course. This criteria includes:

  • 20 or more students enrolled in the course
  • Historically difficult course, new content and/or D/F/W rate of 30% or above
  • High percentage of first-year student enrollment
  • Required Major Course or Required Pre-Requisite
  • Faculty and Department support of SI program
  • High student attendance, 30% students attend at least once (determined in first 2 years of SI sessions)
  • Qualified SI leader recommendation (determined by faculty/department)

One thing to note: An SI Leader’s job is to help students and not necessarily to help a professor with a course that has a heavy work load or is in high demand.  Their primary job is to create opportunities for students to learn the course material through group work and creative session strategies in an informal environment.  Please keep in mind the needs of the course when considering a request for SI support. If you are interested in requesting a SI Leader for your course, please contact the SI Supervisor.

Supplemental Instruction (SI) sessions are offered ONLY with the support of the course’s instructor The following is expected of the faculty member in support of SI sessions for their course:

  • Cooperate with the SI Supervisor in selecting candidates for SI Leader positions
  • Provide a copy of the course roster to the SI Leader or SI Supervisor
  • Work with academic department to provide SI Leader access to textbook and other appropriate course materials as needed.
  • Allow the SI Leader time to connect with the class at the beginning of the term and end of the term regarding scheduling and surveys, as well as allowance to make any other necessary announcements
  • Meet briefly with your SI Leader once a week. The purpose of these meetings is to provide mutual communication regarding:- Items you want him/her to work on with those attending SI sessions- Sharing study session plans and going over copies of review materials- Providing feedback on the quality of his/her study materials and/or activities
  • Let SI Leaders know whether or not you have old exams or study guides he/she may want to use for developing review materials and/or session strategies/activities—these should only be used to help develop session materials and logistics
  • Expect the SI Leader to act as a model student in the class (not a teaching assistant)
  • Avoid suggesting that only those who do poorly will benefit from the SI sessions

SI Leader’s SHOULD:

  • Act as a model student, attend class regularly unless other arrangements have been made by the faculty member and SI Supervisor (demonstrate good note-taking, attention, etc.).
  • Maintain a professional attitude by effectively communicating and refraining from criticizing the faculty member to other students.
  • Prepare handouts, learning aides, and informal quizzes for the SI sessions in addition to organizing various learning strategies, methods, and skills.
  • If possible, share materials with cooperating faculty members before use.
  • Provide feedback to cooperating faculty member if requested to do so.


  • Go beyond the actual content of the course as presented in class or assigned in reading materials.
  • Grade papers, tests, or be involved in constructing test items (though they may help distribute handouts in class if requested).
  • Fill in for faculty in their absence unless it is to hold an extra SI/study/review session.
  • Suggest SI attendance is a substitute for attending class.

If faculty EVER have any concerns about their SI Leaders’ performance of their duties, please contact the SI Supervisor immediately.

Molly Mundt

Academic Success Coordinator