Programs & Services
Learning Support Services
© UC Santa Cruz, LSS
What is MSI?Modified Supplemental Instruction gives students the opportunity to learn together in small groups led by advanced Student Learning Assistants. MSI is guaranteed study/learning time facilitated by someone who has already been successful in the class.
How MSI works:Unless otherwise noted, you may attend any MSI session at any time during the quarter without making a weekly commitment. MSI sessions are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Please see the Professor or the Learning Assistant in your class for more information.
Comments about MSI
Some important facts about MSI:
MSI Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I go to MSI?MSI is guaranteed study time. The Learning Assistant received a grade of B or better in the class. He/She facilitates the group but focuses on assisting students to answer the questions themselves. Students who attend MSI 4 or more times are much more likely to not only pass the class but are more likely to receive a higher grade than students who do not attend MSI. MSI also gives you a chance to get to know others in your class in a relaxed environment.
What can I expect from an MSI session?The Learning Assistant received a grade of B or better in the class. He/She facilitates the group but focuses on assisting students to answer the questions themselves. Students who attend MSI 4 or more times are much more likely to not only pass the class but are more likely to receive a higher grade than students who do not attend MSI. MSI also gives you a chance to get to know others in your class in a relaxed environment.
When does MSI start?MSI generally starts during the second full week of the quarter. The actual start time is the first session after the announcement is made in class.
When/Where is MSI held?
To find the times and locations of available MSI sessions, go to https://eop.sa.ucsc.edu/msi/msischedule.cfm and click on the class. MSI Sessions are located in various locations across campus, including the ARCenter (which is located between McHenry Library and the Music Center) and the Oakes Learning Center.
How are MSI times selected?A survey is done in class during the first few days of the quarter. The most popular times and widely distributed times are chosen.
What if I miss the in-class announcement?You can go on-line to https://eop.sa.ucsc.edu/msi/msischedule.cfm and click on the class.
Do I have to go every week?
For most classes, weekly attendance is not required; although, students tend to get the most benefit from the MSI sessions if they attend weekly or at least 4 times during the quarter. For some courses, MSI may have a sign-up procedure that will require you to sign-up for and attend a specific session each week. If your course has a special MSI sign-up process, it will be marked with an asterisk (*) on the MSI supported course list at the top of this page.
Does MSI happen during finals week?No, unless there is a exam study session scheduled. The last MSI sessions for the quarter are held during the last week of instruction.
How do I find out about an exam study session?
MSI exam study sessions are limited to those who have come to MSI at least once before. The Learning Assistant will announce the study sessions during MSI sessions and an email may be sent to students who have attended sessions.
How are classes that MSI supports chosen?
The classes are usually large (over 50) entry-level lower and upper division courses. The courses have generally proven to be difficult for many students. Professors can also request to have MSI support for their course.
Are MSI sessions permanently cancelled?MSI sessions are permanently cancelled if attendance is low. If you want the services to continue for the class, you must attend MSI.
If I need more help, what other services does Learning Support Services offer?If a course is supported by MSI you must attend MSI first. If you would still like to receive additional tutoring support, please contact Learning Support Services at 459-4333.
How do I contact the Learning Assistant?The Learning Assistants are in every lecture, so you can talk to them there. They generally sit near the front and in the same spot every time. Or, you can e-mail them. Go to https://eop.sa.ucsc.edu/msi/msischedule.cfm and click on the class. The e-mail is located at the bottom of this page. (Please note that MSI Learning Assistants may or may not answer questions sent by e-mail.) Of course, the best place and time to talk with them is during the scheduled MSI sessions.
How do I find out more information about the Learning Assistant?You can go on-line to https://eop.sa.ucsc.edu/msi/msischedule.cfm and click on the Learning Assistantís name. Here you will find a picture, his/her person statement, the times and locations of MSI, as well as his/her e-mail address.
Who are the Learning Assistants?The Learning Assistants are undergraduates who have previously taken the course and received a grade of B or better. All Learning Assistants have been recommended by a professor and many are hand picked by the professor who is currently teaching the class.
How do I become a Learning Assistant?In general, the professor recommends students. If you are interested, you should let your professor know. You must have received a B or better in the class and currently be in good academic standing. We generally start to hire for the next quarter in the last few weeks of the previous quarter. Please see Student Job Listings for more details.