Each student is matched with a faculty adviser who assists in selecting courses and in adjusting to the academic life of the College. A student's curriculum is, ultimately, her or his choice, and the "approval" of faculty advisers refers to the process of determining a course of study rather than to the actual selections that emerge from that process. Advisers ensure that students consider their choices carefully and are open to the range of disciplines taught here, without determining the actual outcome. Typically, faculty advisers have 10 to 15 advisees each--few enough to know their students well. Relationships with advisers are tailored to the individuals involved. The initial advisory session takes place the first evening of orientation, over dinner--the first step in building a comfortable working relationship. To learn more about Pomona College faculty, search our Faculty Profiles.
After the first or second year, students seek advisers from the faculty in their proposed academic majors. In addition to counseling about course selection, departmental advisers may assist students with their senior exercises or provide information about careers, graduate schools, fellowships, and internship opportunities. Most departments also maintain student liaisons--upperclass students who can speak knowledgeably about the major and be helpful to those who have not yet selected a major.
In addition to a faculty adviser, every new student has a student "sponsor" who lives nearby in the residence hall. While sponsors' official duties do not include academic advising, they often provide valuable advice about courses and departments and serve as additional sources of information and support.