The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Supplemental instruction gets funding

By Dylan Bradley/editor-in-chief

Supplemental instruction provides students with more than just tutoring at TCC.

With the board of trustees adding $1.4 million to the program at its last meeting, the program rolled out districtwide Sept. 1.

Legal studies professor Karen Silverberg said supplemental instruction is an incredible way to help students learn better on their own.

“It provides a peer tutor who’s previously taken the class who then attends the class with the other students and then provides additional tutoring and instruction to the students outside of class,” she said. “The greatest thing about SI is it teaches students how to work with each other.”

The students who act as peer tutors are called SI leaders.

“They [SI leaders] don’t enroll. They just attend those classes that they’ve taken already. They hold study sessions every week, probably about three to four study sessions,” said South special services coordinator Christopher Darville. “They go over the information. They don’t re-teach.”

Each campus chooses which course will participate in the program and receive SI leaders based on a combination of factors.

They include the size of the class combined with student success indicators, including drops, failing or low grades and withdrawal rates.

“It’s meant to give students study skills,”

said NW SI coordinator and instructional associate Lance Patterson. “Basically learning how to learn while learning what to learn as well as developing sort of a network community among peers, fostering rapport.”

The program began on South Campus in fall 2013, and the courses that were given SI leaders received at least one letter grade higher than the courses not using the program.

Student success academic affairs vice chancellor Joy Gates-Black spearheaded the program for TCC.

“The great thing about SI is it focuses on the course, not on the student. It’s about helping every student get through that course,” she said. “Having those SI leaders who are former students who have gone through that course and done exceptionally well and then who’ve been trained in SI and who sit in the class with you and then work with you outside on the material, all of this, it’s amazing.”

Gates-Black will hire a director of student learning and success, who will oversee SI for the district.

“We’re not leaving anything to chance,” she said. “We’re being really intentional about supporting this, and we’ve already seen success. It’s just scaling it up.”

She said she wants SI leaders trained and the director in position by the second eight-week session this fall.

“I’ve been in this so long, and I know that this works,” she said.

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