Services for Faculty

CAPS is most successful when our tutors and staff collaborate with faculty members. Read below for a variety of ways that faculty can get involved with CAPS as well as answers to frequently asked faculty questions.

Students, faculty, and staff often have questions about the SI program at UNM. Review our most frequently asked questions or email us your questions.

What is Supplemental Instruction (SI)?

Supplemental Instruction (SI) is essentially "Students helping students." SI is an academic support program designed to aid students in traditionally difficult courses. SI provides regularly scheduled, peer-led study sessions, and incorporates study strategies into each and every session - and who better to help you with study strategies than an SI leader who has already excelled in the course!

What is an SI session?

The SI leader plans and conducts three 50-minute study sessions per week. These sessions are available to all students enrolled in the class at no cost. SI sessions are not a time for the SI leader to re-lecture the same material presented in class. Rather, they are a time when you can work in small, collaborative groups with your classmates to review lecture material, course reading, and homework.

Who attends SI?

SI is open to all students enrolled in the selected section of a particular class. SI attracts and is helpful for students from all ability levels. Our stats have shown that SI participants earn half a letter grade to a full letter grade higher than non-SI participants regardless of prior achievement levels. SI really works!

What goes on during sessions?

SI sessions have an informal atmosphere where you and your classmates can aid each other in learning while guided by an SI leader. Typically SI leaders prepare worksheets, handouts, problem-solving exercises, and plan group activities in order to reinforce information introduced in class. SI sessions are a great place to go over important concepts, review class notes, discuss reading assignments, work practice problems, and reinforce relevant study skills.

What are the SI Leaders' qualifications?

SI leaders are selected based on their academic strengths and interpersonal skills. They are students who have previously  taken the course and earned a B+ or better.  SI leaders attend the class with you, take notes, and review readings and homework. The leaders also meet regularly with the professor to discuss concepts that should be reviewed in the weekly sessions.  SI leaders are trained in collaborative learning techniques, study strategies, and course content as part of obtaining certification through the College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA).

When do SI sessions take place?

SI sessions begin the second week of classes and end the week before finals. SI session days and times are determined before classes even begin, so you can plan them into your schedule early in the semester. SI Leaders will announce session days and times during the first week of class and will give reminders and updates throughout the semester.  Each course has three sessions per week and test reviews are set according to your test schedule.

Visit our hours & locations page for the most up to date meeting times for your class!

Can I recommend an SI Leader?

We are always looking for great SI leaders! Part of the hiring process includes a recommendation letter from a faculty member; once a student has filled out our application, he/she can send you our online recommendation form. We begin the hiring process early so it is a good idea to encourage students to apply the semester before they wish to work.

For Faculty

The CAPS Math & Science Tutoring Program provides academic support through free peer tutoring in a variety of formats and locations.  Our mission is to provide an interactive, collaborative peer tutoring environment that encourages students to ask questions, take ownership of their education, and experience individual success in the math and science core curriculum. We accomplish this task by providing a safe, comfortable, and collaborative environment where students work together to strengthen their analytical skills and their self-advocacy. Students can receive help with math and science courses from the STEM team through individual appointments, drop-in tutoring, and faculty office hours.

Have a CAPS Tutor Visit Your Class

CAPS tutoring can help your students strengthen their critical thinking skills by working with others and seeing problems from diverse perspectives.  Request a class visit and a CAPS tutor will visit your class and give a brief explanation of CAPS services.  With 5 minutes of course time for a visit, you can help your students succeed academically.

Faculty Office Hours in the CAPS Drop In Lab

CAPS offers faculty the opportunity to hold office hours in our drop-in lab at Zimmerman Library.   Faculty can meet with groups of students at a table in the lab, hold discussions, help students with problems, and encourage students to ask questions. The Zimmerman drop-in lab is a collaborative environment and many of your students are already using the service- why not meet them where they already are?

For More Information, Contact:

Anne Compton
CAPS Associate Director
(505) 277-8726


At the CAPS Writing & Language Center in Education 208, we are committed to providing exceptional support for writing and language learners across campus. When your students visit the CAPS Writing & Language Center, they will work with a tutor to identify their goals for growth and activities to meet those goals. CAPS tutors strive to facilitate student insights into their writing and language learning processes, and to encourage the growth of individual learners over time. The drop-in format is ideal for writers working through any stage of the writing process on any writing assignment, and for language learners who want to work through their language development. CAPS offers one-on-one appointments for students who prefer more structured, individualized support. During CAPS conversation groups, language learners practice their communication skills in an interactive, low-pressure setting.

Partnering with CAPS

Have a CAPS Tutor Visit Your Class

Request a class visit and a CAPS tutor will visit your class and give a brief, 5 minute overview of CAPS services, with an emphasis on the support available for your class.

Hold Faculty Office Hours in the CAPS Writing & Language Center

CAPS offers faculty and instructors the opportunity to hold office hours in the CAPS Writing & Language Center. Faculty can meet with students at a dedicated office hours table, hold small workshops, or conduct small group or one-on-one conferences with students.

Request a Workshop

UNM faculty and staff can request workshops and suggest special topics through the CAPS Workshop Request Form. We will work with you to tailor the workshop to your class material. Below are listed some of the workshops that we have presented in the past.

  • Writing as a Process: Many students envision writing as a product, rather than a process. This workshop will present an overview of the writing process—from prewriting to drafting to revision—and offer strategies for engaging in each of these stages. This workshop is one of the most commonly requested, as it includes content from each of the workshops listed below.
  • Emphasizing the Prewriting Phase of Writing: When many students write a paper, they most likely begin by sitting in front of a computer and staring at a blank screen, uncertain of what to do next. This workshop will present information on assessing the purpose, format, and audience of a writing assignment, as well as how to assemble sources and do prewriting activities, such as brainstorming, constructing an outline, and free-writing.
  • Crafting an Effective Thesis Statement: Students often struggle with expressing the essence of their argument in writing. An effective thesis statement is more than a summary of one’s argument—it offers a road map of how a position will be argued. This workshop will help students develop more specific, arguable, tension-filled thesis statements.
  • Organizational Strategies for Writing: Students may have brilliant ideas about a topic but are unable to organize their thoughts clearly and express them to the reader. This workshop will help students improve their writing by managing content, using topic sentences and transitions, and other strategies that will create a coherent overall structure.
  • Research Papers: Navigating the Research Process: Researching a topic is a complex process. Often students are not sure how to navigate the research process, and default to popular online searches. The purpose of this workshop is to equip students with strategies to move through each stage of the research process, including formulating a research question, locating and evaluating sources, and incorporating the works of others into a research paper.
  • Incorporating Sources into Writing Assignments: Engaging in dialogue with other writers can be tricky. Students may fail to synthesize an author’s ideas to fail to acknowledge sources, thus risking plagiarism. This workshop will help students incorporate the work of others into their own writing by learning how to paraphrase and use in-text citations effectively, consistent with MLA or APA conventions.
  • Academic Honesty in the Writing Process: Plagiarism is a term often cited in courses, with instructors urging students to avoid plagiarizing. But what do we mean when we talk about plagiarism? This workshop emphasizes the complexities of academic honesty and intellectual property, offering students a discussion of how to navigate the writing process ethically, and ends with an overview of strategies for citing and crediting the work of others.
  • The Revision Process: Avoiding Early Closure: Persuading students that revision is more than simply cleaning up a paper can be challenging. Students often feel a paper is complete once the conclusion has been written and the paper has been proofread. This workshop will discuss the concept of early closure (ending the paper at the conclusion of the first draft), strategies students can apply to the revision process, and how to make meaningful decisions about approaching revision.
  • Editing: The Final Stages of the Writing Process: Editing represents the end stages of the drafting process. It is also a step that many students are reluctant to engage in, or to misunderstand. This workshop presents students with editing strategies, offering options for activities at both the individual and small group level. This workshop works best when students have a draft in hand, as workshop facilitators can walk students through editing activities.
For More Information, or to Partner with CAPS, Contact:

Katie Denton
Program Specialist, Writing & Language Program
Center for Academic Program Support (CAPS)

Online Tutoring and Your Course

The Online Tutoring Program exists to serve the needs of both students taking online courses and students who prefer to learn online in general. Our goal is to provide the same quality of tutoring online that we experience in our in-person learning centers. CAPS Online Tutors recognize that there are unique needs associated with the online learning environment and are trained to engage students online effectively.

Although our services are focused on the student learning experience, know that we are here to serve instructors as well. When your students utilize our services, you should observe an improvement in the quality of their writing, critical thinking, and general academic skills. Allowing us to help develop your students’ abilities in these areas provides you with more time to focus on the specific content matter of your course.

How can the CAPS Online Tutoring Program assist the students in your course?

There are many ways in which students can receive online learning assistance from CAPS! In addition to all of our in-person services, we offer a variety of online services to meet the needs of online, distance, non-traditional, and general undergraduate students. Below is a brief listing and summary of each of our online tutoring programs.

The Online Learning Center (OLC) supports students in the same subjects as our face-to-face services in a virtual drop-in lab format. Students and peer tutors have access to a shared virtual whiteboard, graphing and formula builders, file sharing abilities, and more. Click here for a list of subjects and hours supported in the OLC.

The Online Writing Lab (OWL) provides students with assistance in any writing assignment. Our tutors can help your students with structure, style, format, grammar, and thesis organization. Please note that we do not simply proofread papers. In fact, we do not do any proofreading at all! Rather, we coach students on the foundations of excellent writing.  

Instructor Notification Form

If you would like your students to provide proof that they have been to CAPS, please have your students fill out the Instructor Notification form. Notices will be sent out three times each semester (twice during summer session) on or around the following dates: March 5th, April 5th, finals week in May (Spring); July 1st, August 1st (Summer); October 5th, November 5th, finals week in December (Fall). CAPS tutors or staff will not sign outside forms, nor can we confirm any individual student interactions without express permission from that student.

For More Information, Contact:

CAPS Program Specialists are interested in working you to ensure that the needs of our students are being met. We are available to meeting in both formal and informational settings. If you would like to discuss how the CAPS Online Tutoring Program can serve your students, please contact:

Dayra Fallad-Mendoza, Online Tutoring Program Specialist 

The Online Learning Assistant program was developed in collaboration with UNM Extended Learning. OLAs are trained CAPS tutors that are embedded in undergraduate online courses. They are UNM students who have previously taken the course and excelled. OLAs work with students under the instructor’s guidance during the duration of the course. They focus on helping improve student learning outcomes and foster engagement with course material and challenging course concepts. (OLAs are only available for main campus courses). Click here for more information about our program.

Why Learning Strategies? 

Learning strategies help your students:

  • Understand the material, not memorize it
  • Focus their attention
  • Become critical thinkers
  • Apply the content to novel situations
  • Succeed not only in your course but in all of their academic classes

How do I request a workshop or workshop series? Can I suggest a special topic?

UNM faculty and staff can request workshops and suggest special topics through the CAPS Workshop Request Form.  We will work with you to tailor the workshop to your class material.  

What should I expect in a workshop for my course or department?

Learning Strategies: The Cycle of Learning

What are your go-to learning strategies? Do you know how to identify your learning strengths and weaknesses? The CAPS Learning Strategists have some ideas for you. We will address learning on a broader scale, including the processes that lead to long-term retention. Let us talk you through the key steps for learning, and help you figure out where you are and where you can go with your education!

Time Management

Ever wonder where your day went? The CAPS Learning Strategists have tips to help! We’ll give you some ideas about scheduling, how to break up your time, and how to identify what is working for you and what isn't. Prioritization and structure are key, but so is finding the formula that works for you. Let us give you some examples and test out some strategies to help you find that formula.

Note-taking & Active Learning

During class, do you write down everything the professor says? Do you always know what is going on? Are your notes easy to read and remember? Are some of these trick questions? Not to worry, the CAPS Learning Strategies team knows what it takes to take good notes! We’ll give you the basics and go through some different options for formatting information, as well as staying engaged in class. We can help you find what works for you!

College Reading & Critical Thinking

Got lost in your textbook… again? Have you ever read the same sentence over and over, only to realize that you can’t remember what it said?  It’s okay, it happens – but it doesn't have to. The CAPS Learning Strategies team can help! We’ll give you an overview of what it means to think critically, and how it applies to college reading. Finally, we’ll outline techniques and do some concrete activities to practice!


Would you like to feel more confident and perform better on your next test? The CAPS Learning Strategies team can help! We'll guide you through how to budget your time leading up to test day, and how to get the most out of lectures, homework, and studying. For the day of the test, we'll help you identify key words in questions and directions, and practice outlining written responses for every subject (including math, science, and social sciences).

For More Information, Contact:

Jenna Price
Assistant Coordinator, Learning Strategies
Center for Academic Program Support (CAPS)