Supplemental Instruction

  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 struggling students; all students in each course are highly encouraged to attend SI Sessions.
  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.

What is Supplemental Instruction?

Supplemental Instruction (SI), created at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, is a non-remedial approach to learning that supports students toward academic success by integrating “what to learn” with “how to learn.” SI consists of regularly scheduled, voluntary, out-of-class group study sessions driven by students’ needs. Sessions are facilitated by trained peer leaders who utilize collaborative activities to ensure peer-to-peer interaction in small groups. SI is implemented in high-risk courses in consultation with academic staff and is supported and evaluated by a trained supervisor.

taylor livingston

Taylor Livingston

Director of the Academic Success Center/Title III Project Email Taylor Livingston

History of SI

Supplemental Instruction (SI) originated at The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) in 1973, thanks to the initiative of Deanna Martin, a doctoral student at the time. She established the SI program in response to UMKC's pressing needs, including retaining students, maintaining high academic standards, and helping students achieve their graduation goals.

Deanna's pioneering efforts began with a pilot SI program in a human anatomy class at UMKC School of Dentistry in 1973. This program not only garnered faculty support but also proved popular among students. As funding increased, SI expanded to encompass more courses. Subsequently, other educational institutions adopted their own SI programs. By 1981, the U.S. Department of Education recognized Supplemental Instruction as an Exemplary Education Program. Presently, over 225 institutions across 44 states have established their SI programs, and institutions in seven different countries, including Australia, the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Sweden, have also embraced this valuable educational approach.

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).

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