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Your Impact On A&M: Helping Students Find Academic Success

Stephanie Cannon '06 July 17, 2013 5:10 PM

By Roberto Molar Candanosa ’13

Texas A&M’s Supplemental Instruction Program is committed to enhancing undergraduate academic performance. In the spring 2013 semester, the average course GPR of students who attended SI sessions regularly was 12.5 percent higher than those who never attended.

Supplemental Instruction leaders—current students who have demonstrated academic excellence and who are trained in facilitation techniques—hold weekly sessions that help students succeed in 60 “high risk” courses such as biology, chemistry, physics, geography, geology, philosophy, economics and political science.

With this help, struggling students grasp core competencies and use them throughout their studies at Texas A&M. SI Program Coordinator Brian Newman said the ultimate goal of the program is to help students excel beyond a particular course. “SI helps bridge the gap between what students expect and academic reality, so they can perform better in their current classes and future ones taken at Texas A&M,” Newman said.

The program impacts Texas A&M as a whole, as it seeks to lower the drop and withdraw rate by enhancing the undergraduate academic experience. It also benefits the hardworking SI leaders by giving them work and leadership experience, and insight into their peers’ growth.

SI leader Chelsa Thomas ’15 said the influence of SI goes beyond a typical tutoring service. “After I have been able to work with my students week after week, they begin to become self-sufficient,” she said. “They carry their new study skills and knowledge of the course into other classes. They gain confidence in their ability to learn, but more importantly, they learn that they can do it.”

Yubin Raut ’15, another SI leader, also recognized the value of SI for both the attendees and the student facilitators. “Being an SI leader has given me an opportunity to make a positive contribution to Texas A&M’s education system,” Raut said. “I am also especially grateful to have the opportunity to help other students succeed in class and to be able to build friendships with the students and professors alike.”

The SI program is possible thanks in part to the generous donors to The Association of Former Students. Former students’ gifts cover the wages of SI leaders, making the service available at no cost to students. The Association has also supported SI’s pen initiative, an effort to make learning more effective through organized note-taking.

Financial support of Supplemental Instruction is just one of the many ways Texas A&M is impacted by the generous donors to The Association's Annual Fund. Click to see more ways in which your gifts make an impact on Texas A&M students, faculty and staff.

Related links:
SI Leader Demerius Seals ’13 Says Service Is Part Of What Makes Him An Aggie
“Orbiters” help students improve note-taking skills 

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