Structured Learning Assistance (SLA)
What is Structured Learning Assistance?
Austin Peay State University is honored to have been a pioneer in the Structured Learning Assistance (SLA) program. SLA-supported sections are supported with workshops and require students meet 5 hours each week, 3 hours classroom instruction and 2 hours for SLA workshops. For APSU students at Fort Campbell, students meet 5 hours weekly for classroom instruction and 4 hours weekly for SLA workshops.
- ENGL 1010 (writing)
- MATH 1010 (math)
- MATH 1530 (math)
- MATH 1710 (math)
- HUM 2030 (reading)
- ENGL 2330 (reading)
Please see the Frequently Asked Questions page. Students, parents, and other institutions may contact the SLA Coordinator Pat Perdew, with other questions they may have about the SLA program.
Frequently Asked Questions
SLA-supported courses are designed to improve student success. These courses normally fall into one of two categories.
- Courses to help students remove academic deficiencies: Courses such as MATH 1010, MATH 1530, and ENGL 1010 have been designed for those students who enter APSU with ACT/SAT scores, which formerly would have placed them in developmental courses that carried no university-level credit and, therefore, did not apply toward a degree. The lecture portion of the SLA-supported core courses is meant to be identical to the regular sections of the courses. Both meet 3 hours each week. In addition, students enrolled in SLA-supported courses must participate in a Structured Learning Assistance (SLA) lab two hours each week. By enrolling in SLA-supported sections of core courses, students complete their core requirements in Mathematics or English while satisfying the requirement to address academic deficiencies.
Historically challenging courses: Some courses that have historically been challenging to students now offer SLA-supported sections of the course. These sections provide the same content, but they also provide structured support to aid student success.
- BIOL 1110
- BIOL 2010
- BIOL 2020
- MATH 1410
- MATH 1910
- PHYS 2010
- PHYS 2020
- PHYS 2110
- PHYS 2120
- PSYC 2010
- Students considering a rigorous course which offers SLA-supported sections: Students who are enrolling in courses which offer SLA-supported sections should consult with their advisor to determine if the success version of the course might be the best choice for them.
- Students with an academic deficiency: Students and parents should contact admissions with questions regarding academic placement scores. Students with academic deficiencies must enroll in an SLA-supported section of the course associated with their specific deficiency.
- Increases opportunities for success: SLA supports course instruction with individualized instruction and group activities led by an SLA leader, which maximizes the opportunities for students to understand all course concepts and to achieve course objectives.
- Reduces the tuition cost to students: Students no longer pay tuition for courses that do not apply toward graduation. They pay only the tuition for the core class.
- For students with academic deficiencies: SLA-supported courses reduce the time spent in earning a degree. Students remove deficiencies and complete core course requirements at the same time by participating in 3 hours of lecture and in 2 hours of SLA workshop, each week, for one semester. Previously, students were required to take at least 3-6 hours of non-university level course work before enrolling in core Mathematics, History and English courses.
- Student engagement with course concepts.
- Instruction on learning styles and study skills that apply to the course.
- SLA leader instruction and computer-based instruction on prerequisite competencies.
- Additional writing activities accompanied by peer review.
- Instruction on test-taking strategies.
- Test reviews.
- The SLA Leader is the person responsible for conducting the labs that are linked to enhanced courses.
- The SLA Leader has demonstrated academic success in the supported course and has been recommended by departmental faculty for this role.
- The SLA Leader receives training each semester on how to conduct labs.
- The SLA Leader attends each class meeting of the supported course and meets with the professor on a regular basis to discuss lab content.