Wednesday April 10, 8:00 am – 11:00 am
Early: $150 Advance: $175 Onsite: $195
W8 - Supplemental Instruction: A Catalyst for Student Success and Institutional Improvement

For more than twelve years, the California State University system has been developing, implementing, sustaining, and scaling Supplemental Instruction (SI) programs to increase student success and achievement in high-challenge (high-DFW) courses. As a voluntary, non-remedial, active-learning-focused, near-peer-led intervention, SI has been recognized as an Exemplary Educational Program by the U.S. Department of Education, meets Chickering and Gamson’s (1987) Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education, and incorporates aspects of various High Impact Practices of Kuh (2008). Grounded in educational research and evidence-based continuous improvement, SI programs across the CSU are contributing to increased retention and graduation rates and decreased achievement/equity gaps in support of the CSU Graduation Initiative 2025. This workshop brings together students, faculty, staff, and administrators from two CSU campuses and the Chancellor’s Office to share their experiences and challenges regarding four core components of successful SI programs:

  • Starting, scaling, and sustaining the program
  • Identifying high-challenge courses and cultivating faculty partnerships
  • Recruiting, training, supporting, and retaining SI Leaders
  • Assessing program effectiveness for continuous improvement

The workshop will also highlight synergistic connections among these components. For example, informal feedback from SI Leaders to course instructors provides a new and powerful communication channel for curricular improvement, while program effectiveness can expand beyond the academic impact on session participants to include the professional development of SI Leaders and course instructors. Through short presentations, group activities, and personal reflections on these four core components, workshop participants will develop a campus-specific Action Plan that “starts where they are” and outlines a path forward for developing, implementing, sustaining, and scaling a successful SI program on their own campus.


Emily Bates
Coordinator, Center for Supplemental Instruction
San Diego State University

Emily Bates is the Coordinator for the Center of Supplemental Instruction (SI) at SDSU. Since Fall 2017, she has been responsible for the day-to-day operations of SI including recruitment, hiring, training, and mentoring of SI Leaders. The program has grown from 10 SI Leaders serving one course in Fall 2015 to over 50 SI Leaders serving eight historically challenging classes throughout the College of Sciences. Given the rapid expansion of the program, Emily has focused on ensuring the program quality by fostering growth of SI Leaders, strengthening relationships with faculty partners, and increasing student participation in SI Sessions.


Brett Christie
Director of Quality Learning and Teaching
California State University Chancellor's Office

Since 2011, Brett has served as Director of Quality Learning and Teaching at the CSU Office of the Chancellor, leading system wide projects related to course redesign, quality assurance for online courses, Supplemental Instruction (SI), Universal Design for Learning, and accessibility. Since 2015, he has led a CSU SI Community to foster collaboration toward greater adoption and effectiveness of SI to increase student course success and graduation rates, while decreasing equity gaps. A vast majority of CSU campuses now have robust SI programs as per the model developed and maintained by the International Center for SI at University of Missouri-Kansas City. Brett leads SI training implementation, connects campuses to share exemplary practices, supports campuses to grow and improve their programs, and collaborates with IR Directors to report SI impact attributing to the CSU Graduation Initiative 2025.


Maureen A. Guarcello
Analytics, Research, and Communications Coordinator, Instructional Technology Services
San Diego State University

Maureen Guarcello has more than 15 years of higher education experience in academic and external affairs. Her research focuses upon the ways predictive and learning analytics inform student success interventions and higher education policy. Before joining San Diego State University, Maureen was a full scholar and graduate research assistant at the University of San Diego’s Mobile Technology Learning Center and in the Department of Leadership Studies. In 2018, Maureen received the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Outstanding Supplemental Instruction Research Award for her work on, Balancing Student Success: Assessing Supplemental Instruction through Coarsened Exact Matching. The publication, conducted with SDSU colleagues, recognizes the presence of selection bias in student success interventions, and applied a method to reduce bias in the data, ultimately producing a more accurate measure of student support in high challenge courses at SDSU.


Trista O’Connell
Assistant Director, Supplemental Instruction Program
California State University, Fullerton

Trista O’Connell has served as an instructor and student services professional at Cal State Fullerton for over 15 years, and has most recently directed the Supplemental Instruction (SI) program since its institutionalization on campus in 2013. She works closely with academic departments, faculty, administrators, and students to create, develop, and implement SI interventions across campus. Trista has managed the program’s centralization and rapid expansion to becoming the largest in the state, with 120-130 SI leaders serving over 20,000 students annually. She has led Fullerton’s SI program to become nationally and internationally recognized including its designation as the CSU Center of Excellence for SI in 2015, UMKC SI Program certification in 2017, and Outstanding SI Program by the International Center for Supplemental Instruction in 2018.

Stephen A. Schellenberg
Assistant Vice President for Educational Effectiveness, Professor of Geological Sciences
San Diego State University

Stephen Schellenberg serves as the Assistant Vice President for Educational Effectiveness and is a Professor of Geological Sciences at San Diego State University. In his leadership role, Stephen collaborates, coordinates, and leads on various initiatives and processes designed to support and strengthen student success and achievement (e.g., learning analytics, program assessment, academic review), with direct reports including the Center for Teaching and Learning and the Center for Supplemental Instruction. Stephen also serves as SDSU’s accreditation liaison officer, and been a team member on multiple WSCUC institutional reviews.


Sean E. Walker
Professor and Chair, Biological Science
California State University, Fullerton

Sean Walker joined the California State University Fullerton faculty in 2003 in the Department of Biological Science. He is currently Professor and Chair of the Department. He studies and teaches things related to evolution, behavior, ecology, and statistics. When not frantically writing emails or memos, he enjoys spending time with his wife Tina, their Burmese Cat Yoda, and reading Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.