The Structured Learning Assistance (SLA) program models the behavior of successful
students. The goals and efforts of SLA are tied to the university mission, course
purpose, and world of work. We create learning partnerships that involve faculty SLA
facilitators, and students. The SLA program targets high-risk for failure courses,
not students. We have found that some highly motivated and very successful students
enroll in SLA courses to help ensure future success in their courses.
SLA Workshops are paired to courses with high failure and high student withdrawal
rates. Faculty participate on a voluntary basis and supports the program design. Our
facilitators are chosen for their knowledge in specific content areas. They act as role models
to foster student responsibility and task commitment.
Students have the option to select course sections with SLA workshops at registration.
Once registered in the SLA section, students consent to abide by the SLA Workshop and Attendance Policy. On average, SLA workshops offer three hours of extra course content - specific,
directed study. In addition to the content, study strategies such as note taking,
listening, study habits, and test taking are skills reviewed.
The SLA program is a unique academic support program, offering students up to 45 hours
per semester of extra time on task at no additional cost to the student. There are
no extra charges for participation in this program. We look forward to the opportunity
for FSU students to grow and succeed.
Workshops are an important part of the academic course and must be attended with regularity
if they are to be beneficial. The Structured Learning Assistance (SLA) workshops are
designed to assist all students in successfully completing their course work. The
workshops offer students study strategies, background information and practice time
vital to academic success.
89-94% of SLA students recommend this program and would enroll in it again. Many students
will enroll in future SLA workshops once they reap the benefits from their initial
The workshop schedule has been designed to give the student the most beneficial subject
If students feel they have been enrolled in an SLA section by error, they should see
their advisors immediately. If the only section available was an SLA section, students
are encouraged to take advantage of the situation.
Most students will take advantage of the extra assistance, worksheet handouts, and
practice tests available through SLA, even though they are not required to attend
SLA workshops. (~ 1/3 of the students who attend workshops are voluntary)
90 to 94% of students believe SLA workshops helped them to understand the course material
and prepare for tests.
97% of SLA students believe SLA helped them understand the professor’s lectures.
SLA Workshops are not meant to replace study time. Students need to plan for a minimum
of 3 hours to study outside of workshop time.
This workshop is designed to facilitate learning of specific course material.
Workshops should be used as a learning tool to help students prepare for course tests.
The facilitator should be considered a tool to clarify and reinforce lecture material.
The facilitator has been trained to conduct workshops in an effective manner. If students
have needs that are not being met, they are encouraged to discuss options with their
facilitator. SLA facilitators are chosen for their background knowledge as well as
for being open and friendly.
In over 12 years, SLA workshops have assisted more than 29,000 FSU students.
Within the past year: 38% of the SLA course sections passed 100% of the students enrolled,
more than half (54%) of the SLA course sections had pass rates between 94-99%, and
overall 90% of the students in SLA course sections earned a C- or higher.
Over the 12 year period the average pass rate for students in SLA sections was 88%.
Over the same time period the difference in pass rates between SLA and non-SLA sections
was +11% in favor of SLA. This means that SLA passed 3024 more students than those
enrolled in non-SLA course sections during the 12 years that FSU has utilized SLA.
Between 80 to 84% of the workshop students feel they have earned a ½ to 1 letter grade
increase due to the effort of attending workshop.
Depending on course grade, student attendance may be required or voluntary. Many students
attend voluntarily, reinforcing their understanding of the course material and preparing
The first week of SLA workshops are used for clearly communicating workshop expectations
and program policies. At the end of the first week or the beginning of the second
week, the workshop focus becomes centered on understanding course concepts and experiencing
successful learning techniques. By week 3 students routinely utilize SLA workshops
for assistance with course content, study skills, test taking, and much more.
Most students respond positively to the SLA workshops, value the assistance, and recommend
friends to sign up for SLA workshops.
Students arrive at their first workshop with mixed expectations. SLA facilitators
work diligently to meet the needs of their students.
Depending on the course content, SLA workshops will be conducted to include one or
more of the following:
Practice quizzes and tests
Developing Learning and Study Strategies
SLA workshop is designed to facilitate learning of specific course material. SLA facilitators
have access to several resources for learning strategies and study skills. Students
are encouraged to make use of materials presented in workshops and ask for other ideas
that have not been presented.
Many students comment positively on learning and study strategies learned in SLA workshops
and use them in other courses.