Tutoring & Academic Success Center

Structured Learning Assistance (SLA)

Structured Learning Assistance (SLA) in English 101

Structured Learning Assistance (SLA) courses provide support much in the same way as Supplemental Instruction with two main differences:

SLA courses reviews sessions are built into the course; much like a lab session is built into a science course. When you enroll in a SLA-supported course, you also enroll in the SLA review session, but at extra cost.

SLA courses have an attendance policy for the review sessions. All students attend the SLA sessions at the beginning of the term. Continued attendance becomes mandatory for students who are below the expected performance goal as set by the course instructor.

However, the SLA courses have an attendance policy. The faculty member sets the baseline grade for student performance. For the classes that are SLA supported at CSU, the average baseline grade has been 70%. This means that students receiving a grade of 70% or lower are required to attend the SLA sessions. Attendance is voluntary for those scoring above the baseline grade. At first, all students are required to attend. The sessions are worked into their schedules, like a lab. The faculty member must assess the students within the first week of class. From that point forward there should be several assessments given. Attendance at sessions will vary from assessment to assessment.

Rationale: Collaborative learning promotes critical thinking through discussion, clarification of ideas, and evaluation of others' ideas. The SI and SLA programs focus on encouraging students to work with their classmates (a method which is proved to be 2.5 times more efficient than studying alone).

Structured Learning Assistance (SLA) in Mathematics Classes

The Department of Mathematics offers several courses and class sections with a special version of SLA.  In Mathematics classes with a scheduled SLA, students are required to attend the supplemental classes the entire semester.  There is an attendance policy for these sessions and failing to attend will affect the final grade.

In MTH 87 Basic Algebra and MTH 95 (Applied Algebra), the extra sessions will give you additional time to complete the required online modules of instruction.  During scheduled class time and the extra sessions, your instructor and learning assistants will be available to assist you with understanding and completing the math content of the course.  You will be required to participate, not only in your scheduled class time, but in these extra sessions, as well.

In MTH 167 (Precalculus I), MTH 168 (Precalculus II), MTH 181 (Calculus I), and MTH 182 (Calculus II), the extra sessions consist of mandatory supplemental instruction led by STEM Peer Teachers (SPTs).  The SPTs are highly trained undergraduate teaching and learning assistants who actively engage students in learning the math concepts.  Students work individually, and more often with eachother in pairs and smal groups using whiteboards, review sheets, and activities to work through practice problems.  Providing interactive opportunities to engage in the material of these critical precalculus and calculus courses helps increase students' knowledge and retention of the mathematics required for a degree in Science, Engineering, Technology, and Mathematics (STEM).