Structured Learning Assistance FAQ for Faculty
Structured Learning Assistance (SLA) is an academic support system available to all Ferris students. The program features weekly study and practice workshops where students master course content and develop and apply specific learning strategies for the course.
SLA targets high-risk for failure courses, not students. The service is available for all Ferris students who choose SLA sections at registration. Once a student signs up for an SLA course, the student is required to attend SLA workshops until the first assessment. After the first test or quiz only students whose grades are below the level set by the professor are required to attend. Many students who are performing well in the class still attend the SLA workshops because of the opportunity to improve their grade.
There are a number of factors in determining eligibility of a course for SLA support.
- Is the course historically a high-risk-for-failure course? (course difficulty)
- Is the course a required course for most programs
- Is this course part of a sequence, that if failed, will disrupt or end progression through a program?
- Does the professor want an SLA workshop attached to his/her course?
- Is the SLA program able to fund the course under consideration
Does the course meet Perkins funding requirements?
Please contact the SLA program coordinator if you are interested in participating in the SLA program.
Professors are not required to attend SLA workshop sessions. You are however invited (and encouraged) to drop in on a session to show support for the workshop and your facilitator. This will also make students feel you really are interested in their academic welfare. SLA workshops are not to be used as extensions of lecture time. Below, you will find a list outlining other requirements:
- Welcome your facilitator into your lecture and lab (if applicable).
- Introduce your facilitator to the students on the first day of class.
- Encourage your students to make use of the SLA workshops.
- Meet with your facilitator for one hour each week to collaborate on course and workshop delivery, discuss SLA student needs or concerns, and clarify any facilitator questions.
- Uphold SLA policies regarding workshop attendance.
- Supply the facilitator with a list of students required to attend your SLA workshop in a timely manner.
- Supply the facilitator with examples of test material.
- Allow 10-15 minutes of lecture time near the end of the semester for facilitator to conduct SLA program end-of semester evaluations.
No, SLA is not a study hall. The workshops are structured, helping students acquire skills and strategies, specific to the course, that can be applied to the homework. The amount of homework that takes place in a workshop will vary depending on the subject, the professor, and the facilitator.
Professors participate voluntarily with the SLA program. While the time demands are minimal, your active support within the classroom and in your meetings with the facilitator strengthens SLA and student performance.
- SLA workshops help students develop skills necessary to achieve success in specific course content.
- Facilitators cultivate positive classroom behaviors.
- Students are more often prepared, in terms of materials and knowledge, to actively participate.
- SLA students often exhibit more self confidence as the semester progresses.
- Often you will notice improved quiz and test scores compared to a non-SLA section of your same course.
- You will receive additional student feedback through your facilitator.