Craig Andres,

For the specific kind of data you want on 4 year private schools on the quarter system, I suggest
you contact David Arendale, Co-Director for SI Dissemination at the University of Missouri at
Kansas City.  His email address is [log in to unmask]  His phone number is

You said:
The numbers I reported were straight from UMKC.  My main concern is that their numbers seem
to indicate that their system will not make much difference in our programs.

My reply:
What we don't have from UMKC's numbers is information on incoming variables.  I see that as a
weakness in the research but when incoming variables have been correctly accounted for, SI is
very cost effective and retention effective and academically effective.

You said:
We do not currently have SI, and I will not endorse it to my superiors if I feel that the cost will be
more than the returns.  This program would be very expensive for us to run, anywhere
from 20K to 50K a year to start.

My reply:
Why in the world would SI take 20K to 50K to start?  That is not true.  BUT IF SI did cost $50K
to run, how may students would SI have to persuade to remain at your institution to be cost
effective?  At an institution where I was SI Supervisor recently, we broke even at 10 students
retained out of about 1000 students per year who attended SI.  Tuition was about $5000 per
year. SI was very cost effective here and even made money for the school in retained income.
Longitudinal research on SI shows that about 10% more of SI attendees graduate than non-SI
attendees.  That means there are 10% more students in the academic pipeline each year until
graduation.  For most schools that amounts to a lot of retained income.  At the institution I
mentioned above, 10% of 1000 students is about 100.  If 100 students are retained each year as
research suggests, that converts into about $500,000 in retained income each year until
graduation.  I think that is pretty cost effective.

You said:
It would also take me away from what I do best, tutoring.  Our students have a higher than
average workload, 19-21 credits in a 12 week semester.  Time management is critical, and I
fear these workshops may have some negative effects.  I absolutely believe that the model works
at many other colleges, but I want more data specifically on 4 year private schools that use a
quarter system.

My reply:
SI puts you right in the middle of the elements that make tutoring work.  One thing SI is is very
time efficient.  Instead on one tutor reaching 3 to 5 students per day in 3 to 5 sessions at $$$
per session, SI leaders can reach many more than that in one session.

I understand your concern about not establishing a program until you are convinced it will work
and be cost effective.  I suggest you attend an SI training session at UMKC and find out the
details on how to set up an SI program and its true costs.  Your opinion of SI may change when
you get the full story.

Thank you for the opportunity to discuss SI, Craig.  I am interested in your thoughts on my
treatise above......and from other colleagues, also.

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
email: [log in to unmask]
NADE Homepage:
CAD and SI Homepage:
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