Advising is about so much more than registration for classes! The purpose of the First-Year Engineering advising program is to assist first-year and continuing student advisees, through academic advising, to develop and implement plans for achieving educational and vocational goals so that students may be directed and successful in their second college year and beyond.

Advising is a Partnership

Academic Advisors in the First-Year Engineering Program are full-time Master’s level professionals with graduate degrees in Higher Education Administration, Student Personnel Services, Counseling, or a closely related field. We are knowledgeable about college student development, helping skills, and student engagement, as well as the ins and outs of the Swanson School and the University of Pittsburgh. We specialize in first-year students, and we love working and partnering with an enthusiastic group of new first-year students every year!

Advising in the First-Year Engineering Program is a partnership between student and advisor. Students are expected to take responsibility for their education, to fully participate in the advising relationship, to be proactive in their approach to academics, and to ask questions. In turn, they can expect their Advisor to be approachable, available, responsive, supportive, a clarifier of information, and a knowledgeable and helpful resource.

First-Year Advising Desired Learning Outcomes

We utilize an Academic Advising Syllabus to guide students through the first year of engineering studies, and eight desired learning outcomes to guide our work. By the end of the first-year of academic advisement in the Swanson School, students will:

· Establish a Pitt Network and know how to use it.

· Know how to use Pitt’s technology resources.

· Understand the engineering major options and make a department selection.

· Understand basic SSOE policies and procedures, or know from whom or how to get the information online.

· Master time management so as to be successful beyond the first year.

· Gain academic self-awareness/knowledge of academic strengths and weaknesses.

· Understand the value that diversity contributes to productive, creative engineering teamwork.

· Understand and make a personal commitment to a high standard of academic integrity and professional ethics.


Also integral to our advisement of first-year students is Pathways, advising management software that allows students to make appointments with their Academic Advisor using a mobile app. Students will be asked to download the Navigate Student app from the App Store or the Google Play Store. Navigate Student will assist students in scheduling advising appointments, locating campus resources, and keeping up with helpful tips and upcoming deadlines. The Navigate Student app assists students in keeping contact with their Advisor and keeping connected to campus.

Freshman Engineering Seminar

First-Year Academic Advisors see students weekly in their Freshman Seminar course. ENGR 0081 in the fall and ENGR 0082 in the spring are first-year transition courses required of all new engineering students to the Swanson School. We are committed, through Seminar, to help you learn about our majors, connect to campus resources, and accomplish the eight learning outcomes we’d like you to achieve during your first-year advising experience.