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Beginning this semester, engineering freshmen will benefit from an expansion of the highly successful ASU SI Study Group program that will now include several core engineering courses. The free program is designed to support students of all levels through organized group study.

Study teams are led by specially-trained undergraduate students who previously completed the same course with a high grade. These peer leaders retake the course and facilitate interactive, cooperative learning study teams.

“Engineering is a team sport. This program will help our engineers excel both individually and as a group,” says Jim Collofello, associate dean of academic and student affairs, and professor, School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering.

This program is currently used by over 250,000 students every semester in 30 countries and has been used very successfully at ASU for many years, but until now was not available for courses needed by engineering. New courses this fall will include MAT 265, CHM 113 and 114, EEE/CSE 120, BIO 181/182 and some electives.

Unlike tutoring or remedial programs, study teams are designed for all students enrolled in challenging classes. Team leaders do not re-lecture or teach the material; they are there to facilitate cooperative group study and help keep the group on task.

Typical study team participants raise their course grade by half a grade point, on average, and failure rates are cut in half.

Students also learn how to study in teams and are often able to continue doing so on their own in later courses. Student retention is often markedly improved.

Instructors work closely with study team leaders and get feedback on topics that students are struggling with to help improve their instruction.

Team leaders improve their own mastery of the material and gain valuable leadership experience.

Created in 1973 by Deanna Martin at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, supplemental instruction is one of the most widely used and heavily researched academic success strategies in the world. It has been validated twice by the U.S. Department of Education as an Exemplary Educational Program and one of only two programs they have recognized for increasing graduation rates.

Study team sessions begin the second week of classes. The program is free of charge, and registration is not required. Students are encouraged to start early and participate as often as possible. Schedules are announced in supported classes and listed at studentsuccess.asu.edu.

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