Peer advisors are an integral part of the College's Advising program and, along with the pre-major advisor, are the first point of contact for incoming College students. They provide the perspective of an older student in the College and assist first-year students in making the transition from high school to Penn by sharing their strategies for academic success and knowledge of campus resources. The Peer Advising program also encourages peers to develop an appreciation for the diversity of Penn's community through training and exposure to varied student, staff and faculty experiences and perspectives. Finally, the program promotes Penn resources as a vehicle by which students grow and are enriched academically, socially and personally. Peer advisors contact advisees during the Advance Registration period in the summer and remain accessible to the advisees by email and/or phone throughout the rest of the summer and fall semester.
College upperclass students apply to be peer advisors and are then selected and trained by the College Office. The peer advising program is coordinated by Dr. Niel McDowell in the College Office.
Peer advisors provide the following kinds of assistance to first-year students:
- Provide a student perspective on academic life in the College.
- Share their knowledge of campus resources and strategies for academic success.
- Help facilitate conversations between advisees and pre-major advisors.
- Help advisees become familiar with the Advance Registration process, Penn InTouch, the Academic Planning Worksheet and the College website.
- Provide information about opportunities and academic pursuits outside of the classroom.
- Junior and Senior peer advisors also serve as MAP advisors. MAP allows first-year and sophomore students to contact declared majors and learn about the major from a student’s perspective.