Academic Support Office of the Provost

Supplemental Instruction

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Supplemental Instruction (SI)

Supplemental Instruction (SI) is a non-remedial approach to helping students gain content mastery, make peer connections, and develop skills for academic success.

SI offers free, active-review sessions facilitated by SI Leaders for targeted classes with high rates of student withdrawals and grades of D or F. SI Leaders are undergraduate students who excelled in that course in a previous semester. They attend all class lectures, take notes, and plan for how to maximize the benefit of the SI session time.

When a class is supported by SI, access to the SI sessions is open and encouraged for all students, regardless of their background knowledge in the subject or performance in the class. SI sessions are on a reoccurring weekly schedule established at the beginning of the semester. SI sessions are not class, and the SI Leader is not a teacher. SI sessions provide a relaxed, peer-to-peer environment, and are optional to attend.

During SI sessions, students engage in active learning to improve retention, discuss complex topics, and prepare for tests. Students who regularly attend SI sessions usually gain better study habits, stronger connections with other Auburn students, and improved grades.

Every semester, the Supplemental Instruction program hires undergraduate students at Auburn to serve as SI Leaders.

SI sessions for fall 2021 will begin Monday, August 30 and end Thursday, December 2.


SI is an international program model that has proven to be successful at varying institutions for more than four decades and is currently employed at over 3,000 institutions around the world. Some essential elements of SI:

  1. SI sessions are peer facilitated – The primary function of the SI Leader is to facilitate critical thinking and discussion among SI participants through the use of active learning strategies. The SI Leader neither re-lectures nor introduces new material. Processing course material and answering questions remains the responsibility of the students themselves.
  2. SI sessions integrate content and learning strategies – “How to learn” is embedded into SI sessions along with “what to learn.” Through practice and mastery of effective learning strategies, students can adopt and transfer these strategies to other subjects and content areas.
  3. Regularly scheduled sessions – Auburn SI sessions occur weekly at a recurring day and time. At the beginning of each semester, an availability survey is disseminated to students enrolled in SI supported courses. The results of those surveys inform the regularly scheduled meeting times for SI sessions. Students should attend SI sessions on a voluntary basis.
  4. SI targets courses rather than students – SI is not a remedial approach. It provides a change in the learning environment for students enrolled in a class identified as historically difficult. SI sessions work best with diverse groups of students, and participating students have been shown to receive higher measures of academic achievement in comparison to their non-participating peers.

Adapted from UMKC SI Handbook