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>This is one option that we have proposed and I believe has the greatest
>potential for bridging support services with instruction. We are having
>wonderful success with SI so there is an established track record of the
>potential of the model.   Whether or not it is acceptable to the
>department remains to be seen. Although SI works closely with the faculty
>and the course, there is a certain amount of autonomy in the decision as
>to what actually happens in the sessions. If SI is not accepted by the
>dept. as a viable option, it will be because of the autonomy issue.
>
>My understanding of SI is that it is the students who actually determine
>the goals of an SI session and what they want to accomplish.  The SI
>leader is a facilitator.  So, the source of what happens in SI is
>generated by the students, not by the faculty. We would need to reach this
>understanding with the department to seriously consider SI as the
>solution.

>Georgine

Another consideration, Georgine, is that faculty may decide that they are
going to determine what the SI session will cover and will try to take
control of the program.  Even though every faculty member who agrees to SI
signs an "agreement," over 8 semesters we have run into a variety of
problems with faculty "interference" or "misuse" of the SI.

To stay on track and keep the SI "pure" it takes very labor intensive
supervision and coordination by a professional.  However, when it works it
really works!  On the other hand, it is very important to remember that SI
does not run itself.  In fact, SI is much more time consuming and
consistent in its need for supervision.

This semester, we are providing eleven SI sections and have served almost
700 students in those sections in almost 2000 contacts.  At the same time,
our 200+ tutors have tutored almost 3,500 individual students in more than
9,000 contacts.  And -- the SI still TAKES MORE INTENSIVE SUPERVISION AND
ATTENTION!

I wouldn't do away with this truly valuable program as long as funding will
allow, but it is important to also remember that you serving two
populations with SI and peer tutoring.  We tutor for more than 40 courses
in 20 different disciplines and there is no way that we could provide
academic assistance to all those students in all those courses through SI
alone!

Karen


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Dr. Karen G. Smith, University Director     voice:908-932-1443
Learning Resource Centers                           fax:908-932-1453
College Avenue Campus                               email:[log in to unmask]
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey
New Brunswick, NJ 08903
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