What is SIT?
Supplemental Instruction/Tutoring (SIT) is the hybrid version of the traditional supplemental instruction (SI) model created in the 1970’s at University of Missouri at Kansas City (UMKC). Supplemental instruction and SIT target courses with traditionally low success rates (success = grades of A, B, or C) and offer academic support to students enrolled in these courses. The SIT program is structured to help mitigate academic and other risk factors which may impede academic success for students in these courses.
Why attend SIT?
- Over 40 years of research demonstrates students who attend supplemental instruction outperform students who do not attend. The results at TWU support these findings.
- Students who attend SIT learn study skills, time management skills, and strategies for being a successful student.
- SIT is an opportunity to work with peers in a small group. When a student is able to explain difficult concepts in a peer-to-peer learning environment, then they have achieved understanding of course content.
- SIT sessions are facilitated by Course Assistants who are student-peers that have successfully completed the course and are trained in UMKC’s SI techniques.
SIT offers academic and social support to students in the CSSP courses. Course assistants (CAs) attend class, offer hybrid supplemental instruction and tutoring sessions, and may act as peer mentors to the students within their course.
Through the use of Course Assistants (TWU’s version of Supplemental Instruction Leaders), SIT offers academic and social support to students in the CSSP courses. Course assistants (CAs) attend class, offer hybrid supplemental instruction and tutoring sessions, and may act as peer mentors to the students within their course. The CAs also facilitate in-class activities and, at times, lead class review sessions. Course Assistant Mentors (CAMs) serve as mentors to the course assistants. CAMs mentor CAs in the planning and delivery of supplemental instruction/tutoring (SIT) sessions.
Students in SIT classes also have various obligations. All students in the program are required to attend at least four SIT sessions during the semester – typically one before each exam. If at any time during the semester a student’s average in class drops below 70%, mandatory interventions are implemented. These interventions include attending weekly SIT sessions. All students identified at-risk, academically or otherwise, must meet privately with the SIT Coordinator during the semester.
The Supplemental Instruction/Tutoring, or SIT, program at TWU grew out of the Texas Woman’s University Comprehensive Student Success Program (TWU CSSP). The TWU CSSP was a grant-funded program awarded to TWU in 2012 by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB). The CSSP grant was designed to improve student success in higher education. The TWU CSSP was structured to identify risk factors which may impede academic success and offer academic and other support to students in classes with traditionally high rates of grades of D’s, F’s, and withdrawals (D/F/W’s). To best meet the needs of the students, a hybrid version of UMKC’s traditional model of supplemental instruction was designed.
The TWU CSSP grew in popularity among students, Course Assistants (CAs), and professors over the first two years of THECB funding. We constantly reassess and continue to evaluate our model and make adjustments when needed, but overall, TWU’s variation on the SI model is successful and gains more positive attention and results each semester. Beginning in academic year 2014-2015, the program was awarded a grant to assist with institutionalization of the program. TWU funded most of the budget for Course Assistants, and the program was renamed SIT. The SIT program expanded to cover two out of four sections of Chemistry, both sections of Microbiology, all sections of Algebra, and five out of fifteen sections of Statistics. The expansion increased the number of students served from the original 250 per semester to over 1000 students in fall 2014. The holistic approach to identifying a variety of risk factors and then addressing them through the use of CA’s and Program Coordinator meetings is working to create a network of support for each student in the TWU CSSP.