College House Fellows: Position Description
The College Houses are residential communities for Penn undergraduates that:
- • connect the academic life of the University with the residential experience;
- • develop smaller, intimate communities that students call home and from which they can more comfortably navigate the complexities of a large university;
- • provide academic and personal support to residents;
- • promote social interaction, engagement, accountability and leadership within a setting that honors the diverse needs and backgrounds of the population.
As a faculty or staff member living in these communities the College House Fellow plays a key role in advancing the goals of the College House system. The Fellow is also uniquely positioned to model behavior that fosters a respectful residential environment and active engagement in all aspects of House life.
In order to provide undergraduate residents with the opportunity to interact with Faculty from a broad spectrum of academic disciplines, applicants from all twelve schools within the university are welcome to apply. The most important qualification is an enthusiastic interest in mentoring and engaging undergraduate students within the residential environment. Members of the University's full-time administrative staff in academic or student affairs and post-doctoral fellows who will be in their positions for at least two years are also welcome to apply.
A College House Fellow is responsible for working with the Faculty Master and House Dean as a member of the House Staff to create a residential environment that encourages intellectual inquiry, provides educational resources and support, and develops meaningful faculty interaction with students. The goal is to create a vibrant intellectual and social community that provides individual residents the opportunity to explore the breadth and depth of the University within a supportive House environment. As the academic leader of the House the Faculty Master provides guidance and direction to College House Fellows.
The specific activities of a Fellow differ from College House to College House according to the particular resident population and programmatic needs of a given House. In all Houses, however, the successful Fellow should minimally expect to spend between 5-10 hours per week engaging with residents, in ways spontaneous and planned, formal and informal throughout the year. Expectations of College House Fellows are as follows:
- • House Fellows are expected to work with the Faculty Master and House Dean to ensure that the College House sponsors an appropriate level of academic activities as well as a program of informal educational and cultural events.
- • House Fellows, in consultation with the Faculty Master and House Dean, are expected to design and implement programs relevant to the House, paying particular attention to the specific needs of the student population and any themes of the House.
- • House Fellows are expected to attend regular staff meetings and staff training activities in the House, although the exact number of meetings or the particular training sessions may differ from House to House; each Faculty Master, in consultation with their House Dean, will determine the expectations for College House Fellows in this regard. In addition to meetings within the House, the Fellows are invited to attend monthly meetings and occasional retreats of College House Fellows from across the system.
- • House Fellows are expected to host or attend a substantial number of House events, in order both to establish a visible presence in the House and to facilitate community building.
- • House Fellows are expected to make themselves available to meet both formally and informally with residents.
- • House Fellows are expected to facilitate student access to Penn's faculty, by inviting faculty to the House to meet and talk with residents.
- • It is the responsibility of the two College House Fellows, working together, to choose annually a College House Research Fellow from among the residents. Fellows are expected to design and implement programs to create awareness of the opportunities for fellowships, scholarships and research available to undergraduates; to suggest ways to access such opportunities; and to mentor students applying for them (or help them identify a mentor).
- • If in a House with first-year students, Fellows are expected to serve as a Penn Reading Project discussion leader and to attend Freshman Convocation during New Student Orientation. In addition, different Houses may have a tradition or expectation that its Senior House Staff attend other NSO events, such as the Philadelphia Museum of Art Gala or the activities on College House Day.
Lodging, Meals, and Amenities
College House Fellows are required by the terms of their appointment to live on campus during the academic year. Their on-campus apartment should be their primary residence from the start of RA/GA Staff Orientation (in mid-August) until RA move-out in May (two days after Commencement). The unfurnished apartment is equipped with internet access and Penn Video Network (an on-campus television service). Fellows and their immediate families (spouses, partners, and dependent children) who reside with them receive meal plans during the academic year. These meal plans are intended to facilitate opportunities for Fellows to eat with residents. One parking space in University facilities is also provided. Moving expenses are provided up to $1,500 for moving to campus and again at the end of the appointment.
Appointment and Term of Service
College House Fellows are appointed and serve at the pleasure of the Vice-Provost for Undergraduate Education. Fellows are appointed to two-year renewable terms, with renewal based upon satisfactory performance and the Fellow's on-campus availability during the period of the next appointment.
Applications entail the submission of a current CV and the completion of a brief Questionnaire, which is intended to elicit from applicants what they hope to contribute to – and receive from – the experience of living with undergraduate residents of the College Houses. For more information about opportunities within the College Houses or the application process, please contact Leslie Delauter, Director of Academic Programs for College Houses (email@example.com).
Download the College House Fellows Questionnaire