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Supplemental Instruction

Supplemental Instruction (SI) involves utilizing a model student-peer who has recently and successfully completed a course to attend the course a second time and lead peer-facilitated study sessions over the course content outside of regular class hours. Since 1973, the data supporting the effectiveness of supplemental instruction has remained consistent; on average, students who regularly attend SI sessions earn a half to a full letter grade higher and earn D’s, F’s, and withdraw from courses less frequently than students who do not attend SI sessions (Dawson, 2014).  Additionally, the University of Missouri-Kansas City, after years of implementing their supplemental instruction program, reported a 7.8 percentage point overall increase in retention and $1.6 million return on investment (Civitas Learning, 2019). 

The SMSU Student Success and Advising Center (SSAC) is pilot testing a supplemental instruction (SI) program during the Spring 2021 semester.  Currently, three courses, including Finite Math, Precalculus, and General Psychology, are participating in the pilot program.  We are anticipating an expansion of the program at the start of the Fall 2021 semester.  We would appreciate your support with advancing the S.I. program to increase students’ overall success and support their persistence to graduate from SMSU. 

If you have any questions or are interested in participating in SMSU's Supplemental Instruction program, please contact Dr. David Tolliver at or (507) 537-6139.


Civitas Learning (2019). Measuring Supplemental Instruction Direct Impact on Persistence. _University_Missouri_Kansas_City_CASE_STUDY_Impact.pdf

Dawson, P., van der Meer, J., Skalicky, J., & Cowley, K. (2014). On the effectiveness of supplemental instruction: A systematic review of supplemental instruction and peer-assisted study sessions literature between 2001 and 2010. Review of Educational Research, 84(4).

Last Modified: 1/27/21 10:44 AM