Campus & Community

College announces new sophomore advising plan

3 min read

Harvard College has announced a new preconcentration advising program to help rising sophomores. As the former freshmen are being welcomed into House life, advisers will help them choose their concentration. Specifically, the program matches students with sophomore advisers in the Houses along the lines of their academic interests. The comprehensive system – created by the Committee on Advising and Counseling in collaboration with House masters and with the help of the Student Advisory Board to the Advising Programs Office – follows last April’s faculty vote to delay concentration choice to the end of the third term of enrollment

“Many Houses already have sophomore advising programs in place, and this offers them the opportunity to strengthen them and tie them to preconcentration advising,” said Monique Rinere, associate dean, Advising Programs Office. “The masters and resident deans are thrilled to have this opportunity to deepen and broaden the academic mission of the Houses.”

Under the new program, each House will appoint a sophomore advising coordinator, who is a resident tutor, to help out sophomore advisers, who are also resident tutors. In addition to working with House masters and resident deans, the coordinators will meet as a group throughout the year under the leadership of Laura K. Johnson, director of sophomore advising and resident dean of Dudley House, to discuss the progress of House advising and help one another resolve issues of common concern.

The sophomore advising coordinators will help identify the House tutors best suited to serve as sophomore advisers and then help match them to rising sophomores according to academic interests. Sophomore advisers will provide guidance of a general nature as well as help students as they prepare to declare their concentration. Advisers will also provide extracurricular and preprofessional advice, and point students to other University resources.

To further ensure the success of preconcentration advising, the Advising Programs Office (APO) has revamped the second-term programs for freshmen. In accordance with the faculty legislation that requires every first-year student to engage in an “advising conversation,” the APO will kick off Advising Fortnight on April 9, a new initiative that will offer more than 150 concentration events targeted at connecting first-year students with academic departments and degree programs. Students can keep track of concentrations of interest and check the schedule of Advising Fortnight at personalized “advising portals” accessible through the advising office’s Web site ( Over the course of Advising Fortnight, individual concentrations will offer one-on-one meetings, interdisciplinary panels, and small-group sessions led by faculty and other concentration advisers. These events are being coordinated by Inge-Lise Ameer, assistant dean of the APO.

The sophomore advising program and Advising Fortnight are part of a broader initiative to improve advising throughout Harvard College. This initiative includes the launch of the Peer Advising Fellows program, the strengthening of the Board of Freshman Advisers, and efforts by individual academic departments to assess and strengthen concentration advising.

The Committee on Advising and Counseling, a standing committee of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, is chaired by Daniel G. Donoghue and Donald H. Pfister.