Texans teaching Texans

SI leaders make an impact on Tarleton education

When students find themselves struggling to understand concepts in their classes, an amazing resource that is commonly overlooked  are SI sessions. 

Supplemental Instruction is a free instructional program offered to Tarleton State University students, and consists of current Tarleton leaders that devote their time to helping students better understand the materials in the classroom.

SI leaders are students that have previously taken and passed the course that they are now directing. These students attend classes and make lesson plans over the curriculum in order to properly assist students. . They are also in charge of hosting test prep before test days and meeting with professors. 

These instructors  hold weekly sessions to guide students through the learning curriculum and reinforce the information taught in lectures in an informal, yet informative environment.

Kylie Cummings, junior nursing major,  has been an SI for three semesters and is currently teaching anatomy and physiology 2. 

“I would absolutely recommend being an SI because of the flexible hours and the ability to get to know the professors in your department better,” Cummings stated.

Not only does SI help students in the classroom, but it also helps instructors learn important time management skills and allows them an opportunity to get out of their comfort zones, as well as additional resources in the departments they study.

Becca De Los Santos, sophomore pre-nursing and psychology major, previously taught Anatomy and Physiology 1 and Biology 2401 as an SI leader. She expressed how rewarding it was to witness her students understanding  a concept that they had been  previously struggling with. 

“They would come back and tell me, they were really confused last lesson, but since we had dipped a little further in SI, they understood it in class. It had finally clicked for them,” De Los Santos said.

De Los Santos suggests to anyone that wants to become an SI to attend the SI sessions for their current classes to get a good idea about what SI leaders do and what their lesson plans consist of.

Both De Los Santos and Cummings were contacted because they excelled in their courses and the supplemental office was in need of SI leaders.

Right now,  De Los Santos is a part of a six person observation team that is trying to get the Supplemental Instruction program accredited. They observe other SI leaders and provide them with feedback on what they could work on in order to make the program even better. The hope is that they can get more resources to “push the program on to the next level,” De Los Santos said.