Supplemental Instruction has become a core component for student success at both the undergraduate and graduate level at UMKC, as well as many other higher education institutions across the globe.

Created at UMKC in 1973, Supplemental Instruction (SI) is a non-remedial academic support program that targets high-risk courses rather than high-risk students. SI targets historically difficult courses by teaching students how to integrate course content with reasoning and study skills to increase their performance. The International Center for Supplemental Instruction is located at UMKC.

SI is an active approach to learning that supports students toward academic success by integrating “what to learn” with “how to learn.” SI consists of regularly scheduled, voluntary sessions outside of class, which are facilitated by trained peer leaders who utilize collaborative activities to ensure peer-to-peer interaction in small groups.


SI study sessions

SI study sessions are informal seminars in which students review notes, discuss readings, develop organizational tools and prepare for exams. Students who attend SI sessions regularly throughout the semester earn on average a half to a full letter grade higher than those who attend no sessions.

SI sessions give students these opportunities:

  • Improve understanding of important concepts
  • Compare notes
  • Get to know classmates
  • Develop study and learning strategies
  • Test yourself before the professor does

SI sessions start the first or second week of class. Each SI leader typically sets up two or more review sessions per week. SI sessions are free. Students are encouraged to as many as they'd like; however, statistics show that the more students attend, the better their grades.

Find SI sessions

SI leaders

SI leaders are students who have previously earned high grades in targeted courses and have been recommended by faculty. They attend class lectures, taking notes and listening closely to the professors, and are prepared to coach students on how to effectively study for SI courses. SI leaders receive training and ongoing supervision from the SI coordinating team to be effective facilitators.

At each session, the SI leader guides students through the course concepts. The SI leader helps students make good use of their time and shares their strategies for success in the course.

Participation guidelines for students attending SI sessions

SI Participation Guidelines (PDF)