National Resource Center for the First Year Experience and Students in Transition
In 1983, the Department of Education certified SI as a model retention program that the Department recommended for replication. Underlying that decision were data that demonstrated to the satisfaction of the panel that SI was successful in retaining students and could be transported to other venues where similar success might ensue. A decade of data collection has demonstrated the correctness of the panel's decision. Although much attention has focused on the effectiveness of SI in the four-year tertiary institutions, careful analysis of data suggests that the model has been similarly effective in the two-year tertiary institutions. The reasons for the effectiveness of SI remain somewhat elusive. Achievement data support the inference that SI contributes to higher levels of student achievement and, therefore, to increased rates of persistence. As much as the difficulty of the curriculum inhibits student success, SI serves as an effective counter. Both subjective evaluations by SI supervisors and anecdotal evidence from participants bolster claims that SI counters the isolation that leads to a substantial number of voluntary withdrawals from tertiary institutions. A specific goal of SI programs, although not readily quantifiable, is the reduction of the level of perceived incongruence between institutions and individuals. Effective mentorship, a key component of the SI program, stands against abandonment of the pursuit of higher education by students who incorrectly assess the nature of the institution. To this extent, SI stands in the mainstream of curricular responses to Professor Tinto and other students of the problem of inappropriate student departure from the two-year tertiary institutions. Further support for the SI program derives from what has been called the unintended, salutary side effects of the adoption of the model. Across a broad field, practitioners have noted that SI contributes significantly to the career awareness and professional development of SI leaders. Institutional leaders have noted the faculty development aspect of the SI program. And, in a time of scarce economic resources, the cost-effectiveness of the SI model emerges as a strong argument for its implementation. In recent years, with heightened institutional awareness of the transitional risks that endanger first-year students in tertiary education, Tinto's research has become central to retention programs. The Freshman Year Experience has developed in the milieu of declining pools of potential students. Once the tertiary institutions have exhausted the declining clientele, they need to look to retain rather than to replace students who might depart the institution. SI offers a strong component to the choice of strategies the institutions can bring to bear on the problem.
Martin, D. C., Blanc, R., & Arendale, D. R. (1996). Supplemental Instruction: Supporting the classroom experience. In J. N. Hankin (Ed.), The community college: Opportunity and access for America’s first-year students (pp. 123-133). Monograph Series No. 19. Columbia, SC: National Resource Center for the First Year Experience and Students in Transition. Available online: ERIC database. (ED393486).
Martin, Deanna C; Blanc, Robert; Arendale, David R..
Supplemental Instruction: Supporting the classroom experience.
National Resource Center for the First Year Experience and Students in Transition.
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