Skip to main content

Academic Assistance and Counseling

in this section

In This Section:

Students can avail themselves of a number of university-wide and engineering-specific services to help them cope with a wide variety of academic and personal issues.

Engineering Advising is the central repository for information:

Peer tutoring and advising

Peer tutoring is a free service offered by Engineering Learning Initiatives. Peer tutors are trained to assist other students in core engineering courses and can be contacted directly by students to set up convenient times to meet and discuss coursework. Peer education programs include the AEWs, peer tutoring, and peer advising.

Peer advisers are sophomore, junior, and senior engineering students who have volunteered through Engineering Advising to help new students understand the course selection process, meet other engineering students, and adjust to life at Cornell. They are invaluable sources of practical information and emotional support during a student’s first semester in the college. All first-year students are assigned one or two peer advisers, who receive training in group dynamics and mentoring in order to provide support to the faculty in first-year seminars and to the students enrolled in them.

Early intervention

The College of Engineering is proactive in maximizing students’ academic success. As part of the Early Intervention Program, the college contacts and encourages students who are performing at or below the C– level following the first and second preliminary exams to make use of tutoring and other help available to them. In some cases an advising staff member will contact students by phone, following up with one-on-one consultations to address reasons for the difficulty and to make a plan for turning things around.

Psychological counseling and EARS

Not all problems are academic in nature. Homesickness, for example, or a severe case of the blues, or an overload of stress that disturbs sleep patterns and eating habits—these issues need to be addressed by someone trained to understand what the student is going through psychologically.

Resources such as Cornell United Religious Work, the International Students and Scholars Office, the Office of Residence Life, and Disabilities Services seek to provide answers to students experiencing the growing pains of adulthood.

Your student might also benefit from talking to other students, who perhaps faced similar issues when they were new to Cornell. The Dean of Students Office offers an Empathy, Assistance, and Referral Service (255-EARS), which trains junior- and senior-level students in counseling others in problem-solving, self-esteem, social interaction, and effective communication. Peers are also knowledgable about what resources are available across campus. It might be that your Cornell student simply needs to connect with other like-minded students, learn to relax, or take up an activity that he or she truly enjoys.

Gannett Health Center has a Counseling and Psychological Services office with certified counselors who have particular expertise in addressing more difficult issues. Students can discuss anything they want or need to talk about, in complete confidence, with the assurance that the person listening cares about their happiness and well-being, and has the knowledge and skills to address the issues in a way that brings lasting improvement.