Supplemental Instruction

Supplemental Instruction

Supplemental Instruction (SI) is a program that targets "high risk courses" rather than "high risk students."  The university pays trained Supplemental Instruction Leaders to attend selected class lectures, take notes, read course material, then plan and conduct two review sessions outside of class each week. The SI review sessions are interactive and utilize a variety of collaborative learning techniques as the SI leader combines the methods of how-to-learn with the advice of what-to-learn. Students acquire effective study strategies as they review course material and prepare for tests using mock exams. The sessions are not remedial but benefit all who attend. Statistical data suggest that students who attend SI sessions earn 1/2 to a full letter grade higher than those who choose not to attend.


Kristin Runyon


Messiah's SI program has been offered every semester since the fall of 1994. It's considered to be an essential program, one that is held in high regard by administrators, the program director, SI Faculty, and SI Leaders as well as the many students who attend of their own volition and cannot imagine taking their course without SI support.

The SI Leaders are paid work study wages to attend class three times a week, prepare for and conduct SI sessions two nights a week and attend monthly staff meetings. Training is held in the fall prior to the beginning of the semester and recruiting new SI Leaders occurs each spring. Typically, an SI session has about 10 students in attendance, led by one highly trained, competent SI Leader, making this an extremely cost effective method of providing academic assistance.

People gathered together for a group meeting.
What our students have to say...
"As I see it, everyone wins. The student is motivated to interact with the worktext and directly apply it to a course he/she is presently taking. The student develops a supportive relationship with a peer tutor who can help with both course content and study skills." - Darlene Davis