SI and SLA Leader, Tutoring and Academic Success Center

During Alma’s time as a Graduate Assistant at the Tutoring and Academic Success Center, she attended all classes for up to two designated courses per semester and provided small-group tutoring support for that entire class two to three times per week. Alma managed session attendance, planed supplemental lessons to scaffold off of class lecture, and individually worked with students if additional assistance was needed.

Workplace Accomplishments: Employee of the Month (Tutoring Center), February 2008
Student Employee of the Year Nominee (Cleveland State University), 2009-2010 school year

In one instance of a consumer math class, Alma noticed that the students were not able to target their exact question was, regarding a concept. They became so frustrated that they forgot where they first had problems understanding functions. To combat this, Alma organized a session activity to encourage students to narrow down their questions and explain what they did understand in a clear way.

The activity was very loosely based on the concept of speed dating. Students were paired off and one had to rotate every two minutes. One student had to ask the other a question on a concept they did not understand. If the original question was vague overly broad, the two students were to work together to fine-tune the question. After two minutes, the students rotate to new pairings to begin again. After a complete rotation, the askers became the answerers and vice versa.

The trick of this activity was strictly standing to the time period of two minutes, and Alma believes that all of the students benefitted if not in their knowledge of the math, then in their ability to craft a question that better addresses their frustrations.


The Supplemental Instruction Program was developed at the University of Missouri at Kansas City, and Structured Learning Assistance Program is based on a similar system of embedded tutors and class group tutoring. In Supplemental Instruction denoted courses, these tutoring sessions are completely voluntary, in Supplemental Learning Assistance denoted courses, the sessions are mandatory for those students who are performing under a predetermined cutoff point. Cleveland State University was among the first Universities to have both programs in place simultaneously.

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