Structured Learning Assistance FAQ for Students
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.
The workshops are conducted by trained facilitators who attend the course lectures with the students and work in collaboration with the professor. The facilitators develop workshop materials, clarify lecture points for the students, and assist students in understanding the expectations of the professor.
Workshop activities include course specific study guides, collaborative team learning, practice quizzes and tests, and study skills such as note-taking, time management, and reducing test anxiety. Workshops are not for re-lecturing. Rather, facilitators utilize creative alternative methods and activities to help students learn the materials.
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.
If a students' grade falls below the requirement set by the professor, the SLA student is required to attend all workshop sessions until the grade is above the professor's requirement. Students are allowed a total of four (4) unexcused absences from workshops. After the fourth unexcused absence, the student must withdraw, if before university's last day to withdraw date, or receive an F grade after the official withdraw date. Absences will be excused with appropriate verification.
No, all students who register for an SLA section are required to attend the SLA workshops until the professor has established the first baseline grade. Students who maintain above the professor's cut-off grade in the class are then considered voluntary and are not required to attend the SLA workshops. Voluntary students are encouraged to attend. If a student is not meeting the requirements to become 'voluntary', the student is required to attend every SLA workshop offered until the requirements are met to become 'voluntary'
No, not without special permission from the SLA Program. On rare occasions exceptions are made to allow students to attend SLA who are not enrolled in the SLA course section. However, the best way to participate in SLA is to see if it's possible to obtain special permission from the course's departmental office to officially enroll in the SLA course section. You may also contact the SLA program coordinator for assistance. The SLA program does not wish to deny any student who really needs and wants SLA.
Log into Ferris360. Navigate to Tools > Academics > Student Academic Dashboard then click Register for Classes. SLA is listed as a course attribute in the registration system. You may also click on the "Course Offerings" link from the SLA Web site's homepage for a complete list of SLA sections.
The registration system will not allow students to register with a time conflict between two courses. Prior to scheduling, the students need to resolve the conflict with their academic advisor and should not attempt to schedule courses that are in conflict with SLA workshops. Attached SLA workshops are part of the SLA course section and must be attended until the baseline grade is established. Should you find yourself with a schedule conflict unexpectedly, you should contact the SLA program coordinator to discuss your situation.