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SI Educator and Staff FAQ

Professional staff are always available to answer educators or staff questions, receive feedback about students' SI experience, or listen to ideas on how to improve the program. You can reach the SI Program staff by sending an e-mail to or go to our team page to find AAH professional staff information. 

What is SI?

The Supplemental Instruction (SI) program supports students enrolled in courses that have been historically  challenging and/or foundational to their majors. The sessions foster students working as a community of learners and promote active engagement in study skills and strategies to master the content knowledge. Undergraduate students are hired as facilitators of the sessions and their formal titles are SI Leaders. These students receive an initial training in facilitation techniques and collaborative learning strategies along with weekly follow-up training and observations throughout the quarter. SI Leaders have also all completed FERPA training.

How can I inform my students about the SI Program?

AAH professional staff support a number of ways to assist you in informing your students about participating in SI and the benefits. Visible support of the SI program by the instructor encourages students' participation in this academic support resource as determined by program evaluation.

  • Provide a link on the course web site to the AAH main web page. 
  • Create announcements for instructors to deliver on their course sites, websites, or in lecture slides about the SI program. 
  • Provide an opportunity for the Leader to make an in-class 1-3 minute announcement of their sessions.
  • Inform course TAs about the program and encourage them to make announcements in their discussion sections.
  • Refer students to the program during office/student hours.

Do Course Instructors and SI Facilitators interact during the term?

We respect faculty time, but we do encourage instructors to interact with the Leaders if they wish. Here are some ways that faculty may interact with SI Leaders:

  • Ask the Leader to meet with them and their TAs in their course weekly meetings
  • Meet with the Leader at the beginning of the term to provide an overview of the course
  • Look for messages from SI program staff with program updates
  • Request from SI program staff for Leader feedback
  • Post lecture conversations with the Leader for updates on participating student session takeaways
  • Add Leaders to the course Canvas sites to make SI session announcements

Why do SI Leaders need access to my course website or other online tools?

Leaders are expected to promote small group learning through engaging facilitation. It is important for them to be current with the course content and schedule by having access to the course syllabus and content notes that you may put on your learning management site. This helps the SI Leaders prepare for their sessions. Their session plans are designed to support the lecture material. Leaders gain credibility by ensuring that their sessions are relevant and timely. 

How can SI be requested if it is not currently offered for a course?

To request SI for a course, please email us at The SI Program Staff will evaluate the request and the feasibility of offering additional support. We often meet one-on-one with the faculty and the Vice-Chair of Undergraduate Education for the department to learn more about the course and the needs for academic support. While the AAH would like to honor all requests, it may not be possible in all cases. However, we are able to consult on options that would be mutually supportive in place of SI.

What feedback have educators provided about the SI Program?

  • I have had the pleasure of having the support of the SI Leaders inside and outside of my course this half of a year. I have noticed a significant difference in students’ questions; both quantity and quality, as well as a much friendlier atmosphere in the lecture and between the students themselves. -- Physics Instructor
  • To myself and many students, the games and puzzles actually provide a fresh approach to challenging concepts in mathematics and allow students to view mathematics with a more positive outlook. -- Math Instructor

Who facilitates the SI sessions?

SI Leaders are undergraduate students who have successfully completed the course or equivalent in a previous term who are trained in collaborative learning and facilitation techniques. Their primary responsibility is to help participants work together and learn from each other. Leaders do not teach, tutor, or lecture. All leaders go through extensive training before the quarter begins including FERPA training and receive continual training throughout the quarter. 

Who should participate in SI?

All students enrolled in the course are eligible to attend SI sessions. Students of all ability levels are also encouraged to participate. SI provides a great opportunity to have a set study time each week and the opportunity to work with peers to master course material. Students should participate if they are interested in working each week with their peers, are willing to actively participate in sessions, and enjoy studying in a small group environment.

SI helps students learn the material in a deeper, more concrete way. Effective sessions are ones that  generate positive energy, encourage active participation,  and provide a sense of belonging to attendees. These skills are all important criteria for life-long learning, and transferable to other courses and/or content.