Special Populations Collaborative

Economically Disadvantaged/All Special Populations

Long Beach City College: Supplemental Instruction (SI) Program

Long Beach City College has implemented a Supplemental Instruction (SI) program to increase student retention. The prototype of the program was developed at the University of Missouri-Kansas City in the 1970s. The SI program avoids the stigmatization of its attendees in that while students who seek out tutorial assistance often feel “less capable,” SI identifies classes rather than students as targets for the support it offers, making its study sessions optional and available for all course enrollees. The college has lately targeted math and science courses that typically have a 70% or lower pass rate. In the SI Program, students serve as peer instructors (called SI Leaders). The SI Leaders are students who have previously taken and done well in the targeted courses, or who have demonstrated expertise in the subject matter area. SI Leaders sit in on the class and then offer two to three optional study sessions per week for the enrolled students. The study sessions reinforce the classroom instruction and allow students to work on the class material in a safe environment, typically in small groups. The SI Leaders have leeway to design their own methods of reinforcing the class material and are paid a stipend. The SI program is well received by instructors and students, and it has improved pass rates in the identified classes. The program was originally grant funded but is now supported by the college.

For more information contact:
Chris Glover, Tutorial Program Coordinator
Learning and Academic Resources
Long Beach City College