Supplemental Instruction

General Overview

Supplemental Instruction (SI) is a nationally recognized program that was developed at the University of Missouri at Kansas City (UMKC) to help students succeed in traditionally difficult gateway courses. SI at Taft College uses the UMKC SI model which is focused on the facilitated study session. However, SI at Taft College has been modified to meet the needs of TC’s student population. Supplemental Instruction provides academic support through facilitated study sessions. SIs lead weekly sessions where students practice and discuss course content and develop study skills with their peers.In SI sessions, students are active participants. They compare notes, discuss important concepts, develop strategies for studying, and test themselves before their professor does. The SI is responsible for planning activities that will allow the group to collaborate on the course material and to learn useful study skills. The information students learn in daily lectures is continually reinforced in SI sessions. SI helps students learn the material in a way that will stay with them long after their course is over. SI teaches cooperative learning techniques that will help students in later courses that do not have SIs. SI provides a safe, comfortable learning environment. Students are encouraged to talk about their courses and ask questions that they may not feel comfortable asking in class. The SI’s role in the classroom is to advertise SI sessions. Advertising can take many forms. Making announcements about the time and place that sessions will occur is one form of marketing. Lending pens and pencils, carrying a stapler, giving discrete reminders about what is due, and helping answer questions or work on problems are far more effective ways to market SI. The best form of marketing for SI sessions is for the SI to be helpful to students during class. The SIs also model successful student behavior by going to all scheduled class meetings on time. The SIs go to class prepared and take notes. SIs can assist in classroom demonstrations and discussions at the instructor’s discretion.

Supplemental Instruction at Taft College


Supplemental Instruction encourages all learners to achieve their learning goals through collaboration with Taft College students, instructors, and staff.


Supplemental Instruction is committed to helping students become self-sufficient learners by modeling successful student behavior and providing support in a collaborative learning environment.


We value:

  • Student ownership of education
  • A collaborative approach to education
  • An environment conducive to learning, fairness, and continuous improvement
  • A communicative, collegiate, and respectful culture
  • Innovation, diversity, and creativity
  • Evidence of success


Given our vision, mission and values, these are our goals:

  • To promote educational self-sufficiency
  • To encourage effective communication between students and instructors
  • To provide a safe comfortable learning environment
  • To establish a student-centered educational community
  • To promote learning through diverse and creative methods

Evidence of success

Benefits of SI for students

According to the Supplemental Instruction National Data Summary, 1998-2003 produced by the University of Missouri at Kansas City, “SI participants can experience improved grades on average of 0.45 grade points higher the non-SI participants (8). For 2011-2013, SI participants at Taft College achieved grades 0.65 grade points higher than non-SI participants. SI data collected between Fall 2011 and Summer 2013 at Taft College shows that 76% of SI participants achieved grades of A, B, or C compared to only 55% of non-SI participants. SI participants also fail less (13% vs. 24%) and drop out of class less (89% vs. 79%) than non-SI participants.

Taft College Supplemental Instruction Success, Fail, & Retention Rates        2011-2013

SI Group

Success Rate

Non SI Group Success Rate

SI Group

Fail Rate

Non SI Group Fail Rate SI Group Retention Rate Non SI Group Retention Rate
2011-2012 79% 56% 16% 31% 94% 86%
2012-2013 72% 55% 10% 18% 83% 73%
2011-2013 76% 55% 13% 24% 89% 79%