Joris Laarman Lab at the High Museum

Georgia State’s SGA pushes for an increase in SI

The Georgia State Student Government Association (SGA) is pushing for more SI sessions on the Atlanta campus.  

SGA Academic Affairs chair Nwenekanma Chibudom Wami, the author of the bill, said that while funding is limited to create more SI sessions, it is a goal to find out which courses need the sessions the most.

“Senator Myles Brown and Senator Kevin Martinez are working with the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Education respectively to pinpoint which courses we will create sessions for, while the Academic Affairs Committee works collectively to find student volunteers to lead the sessions,” Wami said.  

Wami said that despite the fact that there have not been any complaints for lack of SI sessions, she feels such a move is necessary.

“There were no former complaints from students, however, SGA representatives are students as well,” she said. ”There are some issues that we know affect a lot of students and that we hear a lot of our fellow classmates discuss among one another.”

Georgia State psychology major Kelsey Santangelo said her current biology course doesn’t have an SI to go along with it.

“I had SI for BIOL1103 last semester and it was definitely helpful. BIOL1104 doesn’t have one, though, and I would’ve really liked one for that class,” said Santangelo.  

She also said that she would have like to see SI sessions for psychology courses. While there are currently no SI sessions listed for psych classes, Santangelo said that sessions for psychology courses would be helpful adding, “any science would benefit from supplemental instruction, in my opinion.”

Administrative coordinator for supplemental instruction, La’Twan Roddey, explained that drop, withdrawal and fail (DWF) rates determine which courses will be provided with SI sessions, “The majority of our courses are set into place as they are the core curriculum courses that typically have a higher DWF than other courses. If we were to add a course to our offerings, we would analyze the DWF rate of the course to determine if it would be a lucrative use of resources and personnel to offer additional SI Sessions in that discipline” Roddey said.

While the funding process for potential SI sessions is still being organized, Roddey said it’s not a single department they have to talk to.

“Funding comes from a few different sources. The main source is our department of Undergraduate Studies, ” Roddey said. “We have also established partnerships that allow us to utilize Goizueta funding as well as STEM funding.”

But it’s more than just funding, as Georgia State Associate Vice President for Student Success, Allison Calhoun-Brown, explained that SI instructors hired for the program undergo careful observation.

According to Brown, anyone who utilizes SI should be aware that SI leaders undergo observation and supervising processes to ensure that their role is fulfilled.  “Students who participate in the SI program have the opportunity to evaluate their supplemental instruction leader at the end of the term.  This information is used to provide additional training as well as to make hiring decision for future semesters” Brown said.

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