Do you remember your freshman year? For many, it included times of stumbling around to find the correct building lost and confused. Luckily, the Shippensburg University Class of 2022 will not have to know the struggle thanks to the new first-year seminar program.
The First-Year Seminar, also known as UNIV 101, is a mandatory course that gives tips and strategies on how to study effectively and navigate campus with success.
The course is not only equipped with professors and staff, but also with student peer anchors. The peer anchors are responsible for mentoring the group of students assigned to them through their studies and their life on campus.
Peer anchors are required to work a minimum of 10 hours each week with their students and a minimum of four hours per week for their students to come in for tutoring.
Sophomore peer anchor Lucas Everidge has had many of his students visit during his study hours. In one instance, a student came in for help with a biology course and found that Everidge could explain it better for him than the textbook.
“Whenever I was working with a tutor or a graduate student, you feel like they are hierarchically above you, whereas I am only a year older. There is a better relationship and they can open up more,” Everidge said.
Peer anchors are taught to encourage first-year students to be involved on campus and utilize SU’s services, including the Learning Center in Mowery Hall.
The program includes select requirements such as four reflective essays and a stipulation that requires students to attend at least two on-campus events.
The university structured the course so professors are allowed to add content that they feel is helpful for first-year students. Therefore, each class will have some variance between each professor.
SU President Laurie Carter was a major advocate in getting the program started at SU and played an influential role in the development process.