PLUS to Launch Newly Invigorated Supplemental Instruction Program

Michelle Galey, director of PLUS (Program Leading to University Success), and the PLUS team are excited to announce their new focus on supplemental instruction opportunities in preparation for fall quarter. Newly hired retention specialist, Taylor Kensel, will coordinate study groups and the expanded supplemental instruction (SI) program. 

Each year, PLUS serves approximately 3,000 students, works closely with over 50 faculty members and employs close to 70 student employees.The program provides in-person and online tutoring, academic coaching and student success workshops. PLUS is honored to continue serving Eastern students in these and in their expanding services. 

While some version of SI has been an ongoing service, PLUS has historically provided many opportunities for study groups and supplemental instruction.

Covid-19 created complications in offering safe study groups and navigating virtual sessions. But as campus life is slowly returning to a new normalcy, Galey and the PLUS team see vast potential in expanding SI across campus. Certified SI leaders (PLUS PALs) will attend most or all classes to provide context for specifically tailored, student-led collaborative SI sessions outside of the classroom to increase student confidence and knowledge acquisition.

Additional information about the benefits of SI:

During the 2018-19 academic year, students who attended five or more PLUS study group sessions for a specific course during the quarter achieved a positive course grade differential of 0.4 compared to their peers in class who did not attend. While a direct causal link cannot be drawn between session attendance and course grades, the results are still suggestive.

Further research suggests that academic involvement, such as tutoring and supplemental instruction, are shown to be some of the most effective strategies to increase persistence (Civitas Learning, 2019). And while SI often serves courses with a high DWF (drop/withdrawal/fail) rate, SI is a worthwhile endeavor for any course through which a faculty member is interested in providing additional, specifically tailored, and student-focused supplemental support for their students’ success and retention. 

If you are interested in incorporating SI into your fall courses, please contact Taylor Kensel at

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