Structured Learning Assistance (SLA)

About Structured Learning Assistance

Structured Learning Assistance (SLA) is a proactive academic support program working in collaboration with faculty to provide academic support to identified “gateway” courses with which students traditionally struggle or could use additional support to reach educational objectives.

Program Overview 

SLA provides required supplemental support sessions with selected paired courses. All students attend the sessions until the Faculty Partner deems the students are making satisfactory progress in the course, in essence providing students and faculty a safety net.

Finish In 4 JPGThe first SLA courses in College Algebra and Calculus were launched in Fall 2022 as a part of a larger, inter-departmental initiative, Finish in Four, with the goal of assisting students to reach degree completion in four years.

For Faculty

TAMU-CC has provided Supplemental Instruction (SI) for nearly 20 years to faculty who have requested support for larger “barrier” or “gateway” courses with which students may struggle for a variety of reasons. TLS will still provide our standard SI sessions, but we have recently added SLA as an alternative to provide more proactive support in particularly challenging courses.

SLA is very similar to SI, but with a few differences detailed below:

  • SLA times are listed in the class schedule for the course for which it is offered
  • SLA attendance is a required component of the paired course, as listed in the course syllabus. Various options include, but are not limited to:
    • Required weekly attendance to at least one SLA session,
    • Required attendance after failure to meet a minimum grade on first exam/assignment,
    • Required attendance after failure to turn in a designated number of assignments, whether one or more,
    • Required attendance as a percentage of Attendance and Participation grade, and/or
    • Any other configuration which requires the most at-risk students to participate in additional, supplemental help
  • SLA leaders work closely with the faculty to whom they are assigned in a TA-like capacity

As mentioned, SLA is similar to SI. The SLA leader works very closely with faculty, prepares lesson plans for faculty review, holds SLA sessions per week outside of class time, and is available in office hours for one-on-one assistance. AllSLA leaders will receive extensive training and mentorship through TLS.