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CAVE | Supplemental Instruction

    CAVE | Supplemental Instruction

    What is Supplemental Instruction?

    • Weekly study sessions for historically difficult courses
    • A collaborative, active learning environment with other students
    • A research-proven method to help students achieve academic goals
    • A way to learn how to learn and gain study skills
    • An opportunity to improve your course grade

    You do not need to attend all sessions to participate! Click here to view our Supplemental Instruction Schedule here. 

    For Students

    Want to sharpen your study skills and improve your understanding of difficult course material? Research shows that 1 hour of SI is more effective than 2 hours studying by yourself. Additionally, students who consistently participate in SI sessions receive, on average, one-half to a whole letter grade higher than students enrolled in the same course who do not attend SI sessions – you can’t afford NOT to come!


    SI is a voluntary and free academic assistance program that uses peer-led study groups to help students in traditionally difficult courses. 


    By attending SI sessions on a regular basis, chances are you will:

    • Earn a better grade
    • Better understand course material
    • Teach and learn from your classmates
    • Develop effective study skills that can be applied to other classes

    How SI Works:

    Most of SI Leaders are junior and senior students who have successfully completed the courses they are assigned to. They attend every class meeting and plan and implement sessions based on the most recent course material. They possess and demonstrate effective study skills and help students maximize their potential for their academic success. 

    Leaders sit in designated classes with students for the full semester and take lecture notes. SI Leaders facilitate a series of weekly review sessions covering the course content, exam review and preparation as well as assisting students in developing effective study strategies. These group sessions are free and open to all students at all levels of academic achievement who are part of SI-supported courses.

    For Faculty


    Supplemental Instruction (SI) is an academic assistance program that utilizes peer-assisted study sessions. SI sessions are regularlyscheduled, informal review sessions in which students compare notes, discuss readings, develop organizational tools, and predict test items. Students learn how to integrate course content and study skills while working together. The sessions are facilitated by SI leaders, students who have previously done well in the course and who attend all class lectures, take notes, and act as model students.


    1. to increase retention within targeted historically difficult courses
    2. to improve student grades in targeted historically difficult courses
    3. to increase the graduation rates of students


    SI is a free service offered to all students in a targeted course. SI is a non-remedial approach to learning as the program targets high-risk courses rather than high-risk students. All students are encouraged to attend SI sessions, as it is a voluntary program. Students with varying levels of academic preparedness and diverse ethnicities participate. There is no remedial stigma attached to SI since the program targets high-risk courses rather than high-risk students.

    How SI Works:

    SI is completely maintained and coordinated through the Center for Academic Vision & Excellence. All we ask of faculty in SI-supported classes is that they provide the following:

    • A few minutes at the beginning of class for the SI Leader to make weekly announcements.
    • Time to meet with the SI Leader, allowing him/her to keep faculty apprised of what’s happening in the SI sessions and share any practice/study aids.
    • The addition of SI information to the course site and/or syllabus.

    We encourage referrals! Courses have the greatest chance of offering SI support when a student is identified as a potential candidate in the preceding semester. Faculty recommendations are our most important and valuable source of applicants.

    Syllabus Statements:

    Are you willing to market our free services by including them in your syllabus? We want to make it easier for you to include information for us, so we've prepared statements for you to use.

    Drop-In CAVE Tutoring Syllabus Statement:
    This course is supported by tutors from the Center for Academic Vision & Excellence. Our tutors have completed this course, and they understand the concepts well enough to help you work through questions you have. Our tutors are trained to share learning and study strategies during tutorial sessions. While tutors will not complete/correct homework for you or help you on take-home tests or quizzes, they will help you understand and reinforce concepts that you are learning in your classes. 

    Supplemental Instruction Syllabus Statement:
    This course is supported by Supplemental Instruction (SI), a program designed to offer you additional resources for learning course content and developing study strategies. The purpose of SI is to create a collaborative learning environment where students share in the process of teaching one another in a study-group setting. An optional SI session will be held weekly (times and locations will be determined later; announcements will be made in class or on Courses). Each session will be led by our course’s designated SI leader (a current SLU student who has had prior success in this course). During the sessions, the SI leader will present activities (developed by him/her) in an effort to reinforce content taught in the lecture. Occasional test reviews will also be offered. The SI leader will NOT give answers to homework questions, but he/she will prepare meaningful activities and share strategies for learning course material and succeeding in the class. 

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