Structured Learning Assistance (SLA) is a proactive academic support program that identifies high-risk courses rather than at-risk students. We research and identify ASU's high-risk courses by studying past grade reports to determine the courses students are most likely to fail or withdraw from. Rather than assuming students will seek help in these subjects, we provide ASU students the safety net of SLA.
Registering for SLA
SLA is section-specific, meaning students must register into SLA during the regular registration process. Any ASU student can enroll into an SLA section by simply looking for the attribute "Structured Learning Assistance" in Self Service. Once enrolled, SLA will appear on the schedule in addition to the course lecture.
What to Expect
In the beginning of the semester all students are required to attend the SLA workshop sessions until the first quiz or test. However, after the first grades are reported only students scoring below a certain grade (as determined by the professor) are required to attend. Students have the opportunity to "test in" or "test out" of SLA with each subsequent assessment. Students who are required in SLA must adhere strictly to the ASU attendance policy. SLA is required when students need it and optional when they don't.
SLA workshops meet twice per week. The SLA facilitators are trained to develop student-centered activities to guide students through the course content. Workshop activities may include lecture review, text review, group work, activities, test preparation, practice tests, homework questions, and more. The focus is not solely on what to learn, but incorporates how to learn.
SLA facilitators are upper-division undergraduate students, graduate students, or adult professionals. Facilitators have either taken the course they facilitate or have in-depth knowledge in the field. Facilitators are often selected by the course instructor for their experience, knowledge and goodness of fit, and they are trained by the SLA Coordinator in learning support best practices.
The SLA facilitators attend the course lectures alongside the students, and are therefore very aware of course content and delivery. During the lecture, the facilitator will take notes and observe students in an attempt to identify any particular challenges. The facilitator also meets weekly with the course instructor in order to plan the most effective workshops to enhance the the learning process.
Fifteen years of data from Ferris State University, where SLA was created, reveal that students in SLA sections on average had 10% higher pass rates compared to students in the same non-SLA courses. The majority of SLA students believed they scored one-half to one full letter grade higher as a result of SLA.
Visit the FSU SLA Website >>