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GSG Information for Faculty and Advisors

Guided Study Groups (GSGs) are based on a nationally recognized collaborative learning model (Supplemental Instruction – SI) designed to support students in what many may refer to as “challenging” or “historically difficult” large lecture courses.  Undergraduate student leaders, who have previously taken and met success in one of these courses, are trained to facilitate two or three free study sessions each week throughout the semester. 

Regularly scheduled small and large group study sessions are offered to all students enrolled in the GSG supported course.  Whether students have one question or simply want to keep up with the material from week to week, they will work with their peers to think more critically about course material, class lectures, online content, etc.  They will learn to question themselves and others in discovering the unknowns and solutions of the subject matter.  They will work together to better understand key concepts, learn and build upon foundational knowledge as they learn to integrate newer and more complex knowledge.  The GSG sessions are also designed to help students with their study skills and quiz and exam preparation. 

GSGs are not for everyone, nor are they recommended for every course.  They are not a subsitute for attending class lecures.  GSGs best serve students who come prepared with questions and are willing and active participants throughout the semester.  Our data, as well as national data on the SI model that we use, show that students who attend regularly (three or more times) and participate over the course of the semester earn higher grades than those who do not attend at all or attend less often (i.e., one time prior to an exam).

If you or members of your department are interested in learning more about GSG and how this program can support students in your course, please contact the Scholar in Residence of Learning Communities at 814-863-6313 or

Important Note:  GSGs are provided at no charge to students.  We partner with several academic units across campus to support our initiatives.  Our program is designed to encourage students to take responsibility and ownership of their learning.