FAQs for Faculty

Why SI or PLTL?

Learning assistance programs have been essential to student success and retention since the opening of the first U.S. colleges (Arendale, 2010; Maxwell, 1997). According to researchers (Ryan & Glenn, 2004; Stone & Jacobs, 2008), programs such as SI and PLTL are designed to facilitate student learning, development, and academic success. These programs are designed to help students develop appropriate strategies and behaviors to increase learning efficiency (Danserau, 1985). As a result faculty will experience:

  • Improved student interaction and engagement
  • See more students succeed
What will I be required to do?

SI is not intended to create additional work for faculty. We ask for faculty members to recommend potential SI Leaders and assist in the selection process. The TLTC will hire, pay, and train the SI Leaders. Over the course of the semester, we ask faculty members to support SI by maintaining a working relationship with the student leader. We encourage you to promote SI attendance, meet the SI leader weekly, and allow the SI leader a few minutes of class time to make announcements. Faculty are not responsible for creating, scheduling, and attending out of class activities but are encouraged to provide feedback and share any questions or concerns about SI sessions, leaders, and TLTC programs.

Additionally, faculty members are asked to send their final course grades for the entire course section(s) at the end of the semester. Students’ rights to privacy regarding this information will be fully protected. This information enables us to determine to what extent students who regularly attend the SI sessions are benefiting from the sessions. At the end of the semester, a full report will be provided to the faculty member.

What is the role of the SI/PLTL Leader?

The SI/PLTL Leader’s role is to provide quality academic support to students in selected SI/PLTL courses. SI/PLTL Leaders attend each class meeting and facilitate study sessions outside of class. As facilitators they are trained to lead group sessions that follow class lectures and help students through the process of learning. They do not re-lecture, re-teach, or give answers to the students. Additionally, SI/PLTL Leaders act as role models who exhibit successful learning behavior and strategies. SI/PLTL Leaders are expected to uphold the highest professional standards by:

  • Attending all class meetings and demonstrating active-learning during class
  • Keeping clear and constant communication between the students, faculty, and the TLTC staff
  • Working collaboratively with assigned faculty
  • Providing feedback to the faculty member if requested to do so

The SI/PLTL Leader will not:

  • Grade assignments, homework, exams, etc.
  • Present new information or graded assignments
  • Lecture, proctor exams, or fill in as a substitute teacher for the instructor
  • Interfere with faculty’s lesson plans
  • Provide notes, answers, or quick fixes
Are SI or PLTL Leaders Teacher’s Assistants?

No, both are not classified as Teacher’s Assistants. TLTC SI or PLTL leaders are TLTC student employees hired as Instructional Student Assistants. They are peer learning support leaders who are paid by the hour and trained to provide academic support to students. They do not teach new material, hold classes on their own, grade assignments, or provide services that take the place of a course.

Will I know who is attending the SI sessions/PLTL workshops?

No. Over the course of the semester faculty will not be given the names of those students who attended SI/PLTL sessions. Faculty will receive a Faculty Report Summary at the end of the semester (after grades are posted) of class performance for students who attended SI/PLTL sessions and students that did not attend SI sessions (average grades, participation rates, etc.)

Can I give the SI/PLTL students extra credit?

Yes, this strategy can help increase SI/PLTL attendance at voluntary sessions. Research suggests that attendance at SI sessions and differences in final grades can increase when extra credit is given for workshop attendance. Faculty are asked to agree to compute final course averages before receiving a list of SI/PLTL attendees for extra credit.  Faculty should create alternative means for earning an equal amount of extra credit for students whose schedules preclude attendance at any SI/PLTL sessions. This prevents a self-fulfilling prophesy of SI participants earning higher final course score averages because of the extra credit.

Are SI/PLTL remedial programs?

No. SI targets high-risk courses rather than high-risk students and all students enrolled in an SI-supported course are invited, not just those who are struggling. Additionally, SI starts early on in the semester and continues until the end. Studies show that students of all academic and learning abilities and levels benefit from peer assistance programs. These programs uniquely complement the classroom instruction by encouraging communities of learning on campus, making learning accessible to all students, and helping students make the most of their intellectual opportunities.

Why was my class selected?

SI targets historically difficult courses. Gateway courses with high DFW rates. SI is designed to support faculty teaching and is assigned to a subject because of what is being taught, not because of the manner in which it is being taught.

What should I expect from the SI/PLTL program?

The TLC oversees the service, staffing and effectiveness of the program. The center staff will:

  • Provide and maintain the SI model to ensure the framework’s integrity
  • Hire, train, supervise, and evaluate SI Leaders
  • Schedule SI leaders and sessions
  • Create a communication strategy for the campus community
  • Address all student, SI, and faculty concerns
  • Partner with departments and faculty to
    • Recruit and identify potential future SI Leaders
    • Collect data to measure program effectiveness and student success
    • Train SI Leaders on peer teaching techniques
    • Provide training on specific course content in partnership with the designated faculty
  • Collaborate with the University Advising Center on a campus-wide early alert system that brings together a network of support for students identified by faculty.
How can I request SI/PLTL for my class?

Requests for participating in the Supplemental Instruction Program should be made a semester in advance to allow time for hiring and training of the SI Leaders. To learn more about the SI Program at CSUDH and about incorporating it into your department, course or program, please contact: Dr. Maruth Figueroa at mafigueroa@csudh.edu or contact the Learning Center at 310-243-3827.