Supplemental Instruction (IS) serves as an essential peer academic support resource on UHD’s campus. The program imbeds student “leaders” into courses that they have successfully completed. The leader then serves as a point of information for the students attending the class and hosts study sessions and exam reviews for their assigned section. SI focuses on courses that have high drop/fail/withdraw (DFW) rates, as opposed to focusing only on high-risk students.
The SI program recently selected 10 of its leaders and program assistants to deliver presentations at the biennial International Conference on Supplemental Instruction in Seattle, Washington in May. A dozen UHD representatives developed oral and poster presentations regarding the University’s SI Program. This trip marked the largest UHD SI group to present at a conference, and the largest group from any institution to attend the 2018 conference.
The presentations covered the following:
- How Supplemental Instruction and Course Redesign Changed the Way Students Learn at the University of Houston-Downtown (oral) – Tanu Altomare, Ashley Moreno-Gongora
- The Impact of Supplemental Instruction on Former SI Leaders (poster and oral) – Yazmin Trujillo, Jesse Uppal, Alicia Garcia, Lily Mejia, Leslie Rojas
- The Role and Impact of Supplemental Instruction in Accelerated Developmental Math Courses (poster) – Ignasio Hernandez, Moises Nunez
- Major Forces in Non-Major Courses: Shaping the SI Experience for Urban Education Students (poster) – Jonathan Genesee, Stephaine Ibe, Boranai Tychhon
Many institutions from around the world presented at the conference, including Canada, Sweden, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. Several universities from Texas also presented, including the University of North Texas, Houston Community College, and Texas Southern University. Presentations outlined topics, such as cultural competencies, building communities, training SI Leaders, utilizing new techniques and technologies, assisting SI Leaders with complex issues, and many more. The conference also hosted keynote speakers, including Dr. Barbara Bichelmeyer, provost of the University of Missouri-Kansas City—the founding institution of the SI Program; and Omar Amili, an award-winning author whose books detail the necessity and the difficulties of post-secondary education.
The trip also offered amazing sights and attractions of Seattle. The UHD group visited Pike Place Market, an artisanal shopping mall featuring local crafts and wares, which is also home to the first-ever Starbucks. The group also visited the observation deck of the Columbia Center Tower (towering more than 75 stories over the city); toured Bainbridge Island, the Chihuly Glass Garden; and even committed to an eight-mile vertical hike up Cougar Mountain.
(This article was submitted by Jesse Uppal)