P.S.  I should add...if you're interested in other group models of peer
learning besides SI and embedded tutoring, there are several to choose
from.  SI is the most well-known, but is not necessarily the best for your
context.  Here are a few others (and I invite other people on the listserv
to help add to this list):

   - Learning Assistant Program
   < > (CU Boulder)

   - Peer Led Team Learning < > (

   - Structured Learning Assistance < >
   (Austin Peay State University)

...or, if none of these seem like a fit, maybe the next new model of group
peer learning will be from University of Portland....  :)

Rebecca Tedesco
Southwestern College
CRLA Level 3 Master Tutor
Certified Learning Center Professional - Level 2

On Thu, Feb 20, 2020 at 1:25 PM Rebecca Tedesco <[log in to unmask]>

> Hey Jeffrey,
> Hi from San Diego!  Hope all's well up in Portland.
> In my experience, from the students' perspective, adding SI to your
> learning assistance program is unlikely to decrease tutoring usage; in
> fact, a high-quality SI program can *increase* the likelihood that
> students will seek tutoring.  At least, this was the case for us at San
> José State and seems to also be the case at Southwestern College, where I
> am now working.
> There are some key considerations, however, from the perspective of your
> tutors and SI leaders and the tutor / SI coordinator's perspective.  These
> are some quick takes based on what I have observed coordinating the
> tutoring program in a learning assistance department that also had SI and
> in my current role as both a writing center tutor and SI leader:
> *Tutors' / SI Leaders' Perspective*
>    - *Natural Limitations.*  Tutoring and SI each have their strengths
>    and limitations.  Most notably, a tutor working with students in individual
>    sessions cannot help students make friends (with each other) or form
>    support groups the way an SI leader can in weekly sessions. (*The
>    ability of SI leaders to help students form social groups that will enable
>    the students to persist and pass their historically difficult courses is
>    the core mission of the SI model.*)  On the other hand, an SI leader
>    is dependent on the students helping one another in a group setting, and
>    occasionally interjecting their own advice, rather than being able to
>    devote sustained attention to a single student for a substantial period of
>    time the way that I tutor can.
> In other words, when I am working as an SI leader, I have different tools
> that I can and can't use to assist students compared to when I am working
> as a tutor.  (This can be challenging to accept, because I know that I have
> the skill set to help the student, but, due to format and time constraints,
> I might not be able to use the tool in that moment.)
> *Tutor / SI Coordinators' Perspective*
>    - *Hiring.  *You're increasing the number and variety of positions you
>    are hiring for and this can impact your hiring pool (especially if it is
>    small) and your interview process.
>    - *Training.  *While there is some overlap, tutor training and SI
>    training needs are distinct, so you are doubling your training demands as
>    well.
>    - *Challenges of Having Staff in Dual Roles.*  This is where it gets
>    the stickiest.  I highly recommend, if possible, *not* to hire current
>    students as both peer tutors and SI leaders.  If you must do this, it is
>    vital to spend a substantial amount of time in training distinguishing
>    between the roles and simulating scenarios peer educators will encounter in
>    which the lines might be blurred.  It is hard to break the dependency
>    cycle, as the SI literature talks about so much, if students see one person
>    as fulfilling all of their academic support needs.
>    - *Assessment.*  The format of SI makes for clean assessment data; you
>    have a built-in intervention group (sections of a course with SI) and
>    control group (sections without), making for the types of data
>    administrators love to see.  (This is, indeed, another pillar of SI and a
>    big reason for its growth as a learning assistance model since Deanna
>    Martin created it in 1973.)  Next to this shiny, easy-to-understand data,
>    your tutoring program data can look inexact and messy (due to the nature of
>    tutoring not being as tidy); so, it is important to consider how you will
>    make your tutoring program assessment data more user-friendly in comparison
>    to your SI data.
> There is a lot more I could say about how best to marry tutoring and SI,
> including the third and distinct option of *embedded tutoring*--which is
> not the same as SI!  For example, what I've written above doesn't take into
> account faculty, staff, and administrators' perspectives, which are also
> vital to consider before adding an SI program to your learning assistance
> offerings.  I will leave it here for now, however, for the sake of time.  I
> am happy to keep the conversation going here or off-list.
> Rebecca Tedesco
> Southwestern College
> CRLA Level 3 Master Tutor
> Certified Learning Center Professional - Level 2
> She/Her
> On Thu, Feb 20, 2020 at 11:30 AM White, Jeffrey <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> Hello colleagues,
>> We are considering adding supplemental instruction (SI) at my institution
>> to address DFW rates and to support nursing students who need to maintain
>> 3.0 GPAs. We’ve only offered tutoring, and I’d like to hear from those of
>> you who have added SI to a peer learning assistance program that has
>> traditionally been focused on tutoring.
>>    - How did SI impact the utilization of tutors in the SI subject
>>    areas? How did it impact your tutor budget?
>>    - Did SI leader labor come out of your own budget or other department
>>    or program budgets?
>>    - How did SI impact your non-tutor staffing?
>>    - What collaborative partnerships did you develop to be able to
>>    introduce SI?
>>    - What led the addition of SI?
>>    - Who championed the introduction of SI on your campus?
>> Please feel free to respond to me directly at [log in to unmask]
>> All the best,
>> Jeffrey
>> Jeffrey White, M.A., M.S.
>> Learning Commons Administrator, Shepard Academic Resource Center
>> Instructor of German, International Languages and Cultures
>> President, Northwest College Reading and Learning Association
>> Buckley Center 163, MSC 184
>> University of Portland
>> 5000 N. Willamette Blvd.
>> Portland, Oregon 97203
>> T: 503.943.7141  E: [log in to unmask]
>> <>
>> *Follow the Learning Commons
>> <>
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