Supplemental Instruction

an Iowa State Student at a writing board

What is Supplemental Instruction?

Supplemental Instruction (SI) is an internationally recognized academic support program. SI is a voluntary program that offers free, regularly scheduled study sessions for traditionally difficult courses. SI sessions are led by current ISU undergraduate students who have successfully completed the course.

Proven to Work

Our data suggests that the more often students attend, the higher their final grades will be in the course. We recommend attending SI at least once per week.

Students who participate in SI:

  • Learn how to learn while learning what to learn.
  • Work collaboratively with peer students in a facilitated environment.
  • Receive support from a trained, educated SI Leader.

Our methods of collaborative study sessions have shown an average of over one-half letter grade improvement amongst students who regularly attend SI sessions.

A woman working on accounting problems on a white board

We support more than 30 courses in these subject areas:

  • Accounting
  • Animal Science
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Engineering
  • Math
  • Physics
  • Statistics, and more

What can I expect when I attend an SI session?


SI sessions are supplemental study sessions pre-planned by the SI leader. Sessions consist of practice problems, study games, and more! SI sessions are not lecture-based and are not a replacement for attending class.

    Attending SI has tremendously improved my understanding of the course. The SI leader creates a positive learning environment where I am not afraid to ask for help or make mistakes.

    Past SI student

    Become an SI Leader

    Becoming an SI Leader is an excellent opportunity to gain valuable leadership skills and help support your peers. SI Leaders are paid $15/hour.

    For consideration, candidates must possess the following qualifications:

    • Enrollment as an Iowa State University undergraduate student
    • Minimum ISU cumulative GPA: 3.00
    • Minimum semester GPA for the most recent academic semester completed: 3.00
    • Grade of B+ or higher in course(s) you desire to lead
    • Self-motivation and direction to work independently with limited supervision
    • Empathy for, and understanding of a diverse group of students
    • Ability to speak and present information to large audiences

    SI Leaders will:

    • Attend lectures with students
    • Promote SI and motivate students to attend SI sessions
    • Creatively plan for SI sessions
    • Facilitate three 50-minute SI sessions per week using collaborative and active learning strategies
    • Participate in staff development activities and continuous leadership development opportunities
    • Develop relationships with students and instructors
    • Assist students in becoming familiar with study skills and university resources
    • Be a role model for students

    1. Review our list of current SI courses.
    2. Finalize your schedule for the upcoming semester.
    3. Complete an online application.
    4. You will be contacted for an interview after we review you application. We consider your application responses, courses, and schedule. Interviews take place in groups. This is your chance to demonstrate skills we look for in SI leaders.
    5. If hired, complete required human resources forms. These forms must be turned in prior to orientation.
    6. Complete required orientation.