Introduced in Fall 2020, the Academic Guides program is a Duke Endowment funded initiative of the Office of Undergraduate Education. Members of this team create evidence-based, holistic approaches to student engagement that support students’ academic and emotional well-being and build resilience. By placing the Academic Guides’ offices in the residence halls on West Campus, the program seeks to normalize help-seeking and expand access to available academic services.
Whether by organizing conversations with students, faculty, and staff around the challenges we all face as we grow into the best versions of ourselves or through residence hall-based gatherings designed to raise awareness of resources, the Guides have become a visible and engaging presence in the West Campus quads. We have led students on guided walks through Duke Gardens to encourage wellness, created drop-in advising opportunities for students choosing majors, and teamed up with our partners in the Academic Resource Center to offer admissions test (i.e., the Graduate Record Exam) information sessions. Through one-on-one consultations, we have collectively advised hundreds of students in our residential communities as they explore how to get the most out of their Duke experience.
As we move into our fourth semester on campus, the Academic Guides are looking forward to introducing first-year students to their future homes on West Campus, and in so doing, initiating the QuadEx model of living and learning at Duke. We are also exploring ways of linking our efforts to that of the Faculty Fellows program, which is designed to create opportunities for students to connect with faculty outside of the classroom. To learn more about us and our work, please visit our website: academicguides.duke.edu.