The Adjunct Program (SI)
The Adjunct Program (SI) is an academic support program in the new Peer & Academic Resource Center (PARC) that uses SI or Supplemental Instruction to target students in historically difficult courses. Students sign up for a one-unit Academic Strategies class (ALS 52-57) that meets twice a week, is taught by student ISAs and is connected to one section of large GE or major classes in Biology, Chemistry, Economics, History, Decision Science, Criminal Justice, Psychology, Computer Science or Government. Carefully chosen student leaders called facilitators attend the GE classes and then teach their adjunct/SI classes; they model study strategies appropriate for mastering the course content, promote group interaction for practice and review, create practice tests, worksheets and problem sets, monitor student success and establish an atmosphere of trust which encourages networking among the students. Student facilitators also serve as peer advisors to the students enrolled in their SI classes by setting up student conferences and informal check-in meetings. In addition, the faculty teaching the GE or major classes meet weekly with the facilitators to direct the content covered in the SI classes and to discuss the academic needs, progress and performance of the students. Over the past five years, the Adjunct Program (SI) has grown from a handful of student instructors in Government and Chemistry to twenty eight student instructors teaching SI classes in courses such as History 17A, 17B, 50, 6 and Economics 1A and 1B. Benefits to the students who use the program include increased retention of information; better time-management skills; active review and preview of materials; immediate feedback from the group and student facilitator; and a safe and supportive learning environment. Moreover, the GPA of students enrolled in the Adjunct Program (SI) is often close to one whole grade point higher than the students not participating in the SI classes. Supplemental Instruction works, and the data tell the story.