Craig Andres,

I hope this information will be helpful.  In the 4 studies I have done on SI covering 8
years, the grade difference  was consistently 1.94 for non-attendees and 2.72 for SI
attendees, 1.95 for non-attendees and 2.83 for attendees, 1.94 for non-attendees and
2.59 for SI attendees, 1.94 for non-attendees and 2.72 for SI attendees.  I each of
these studies, SI attendees have lower incoming SAT scores and predicted grade
point averages but outperformed those with higher SAT's and pgpa's.  Knowing
incoming veriables is very important for research to have validity.  Have the figures that
you reported in your email message taken into account the incoming variables?

Here are some questions to think about.  How may students does SI have to persuade
to persist to become cost effective?  Is cost effectiveness the only benefit of SI
considered worthwhile?  How closely are your SI leaders following the model?  What
kind of weekly verbal support is SI receiving from instructors?

In my experience consulting on SI, I have found that the more SI leaders relecture and
do the talking, the smaller are the differences between SI and non-SI groups on final
course grades.  SI leaders must stick to the model and that takes regular training and
supervision.  Unfortunately, many institutions are not sticking to the model in terms of
trainig or supervison but are still calling their program SI.  So, SI gets an undeserved
black eye.

You bring up some good questions about SI that pertain to any retention program.  We
should know what the research says on how well programs are doing with retention as
a goal.

Dennis Congos


Dennis H. Congos
Learning Skills Lab Facilitator & Certified Supplemental Instruction Trainer
Academic Learning Center
103 Garinger Building
Central Piedmont Community College
Charlotte, NC 28235
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