Penn First Plus (P1P) offers a variety of mentorship programs designed to support our students through their transition to Penn and through their academic and career/professional journeys.

Gateway Student Mentorship Program (GSM)

GSM is a program administered by Penn First Plus.

The Gateway Student Mentorship program is an academic year-long (September-May) program designed to connect incoming first-year and transfer students with upper-level undergraduates, and faculty who identify as and share the experience of being first-generation.

The program consists of individual/cohort meetings between mentees and their upper-level mentors, faculty discussions, and community/mentoring circles. Community circles are for all members of the GSM program to come together to discuss particular topics related to the first-generation first-year experience at Penn. During the 2022-2023 academic year, some of the topics for community circles were “Thriving Academically at Penn”, “Summer Opportunities”, “Connecting with Faculty”, and more.

Mentee Benefits

  • Individualized and ongoing mentorship from a peer
  • Community and support system of staff and faculty who share a similar background
  • Gain knowledge of campus resources
  • Participate in programming and community development activities exclusive to GSM participants


Applicants must be a currently enrolled Penn First-generation-to-college first year or transfer students.
Pre-First Year Program (PFP) students are not eligible to apply to the program because they already are paired with mentors through PFP and PennCAP

Application Process

Mentee applications for GSM open during New Student Orientation (NSO) and close on Monday, September 4th, 2023. Acceptance to the program and mentor matches will be made by the P1P staff and sent out shortly after the application deadline.

Applications are now open.

Becoming a Mentor

Applications for mentors open in mid-March and close mid-April on the Penn Handshake platform.

Graduate School Mentoring Initiative (GSMI)

GSMI is a program administered by PennCAP.

The Graduate School Mentoring Initiative is an initiative to prepare and support students of PennCAP in their navigation of the graduate school application process.

Mentee Benefits

  • Pairs you with current graduate students in your area of interest to provide one on one guidance for identifying a field, researching schools, applying and funding a program
  • Partners with Penn graduate and professional school representatives to give you information and resources related to graduate school application process through grad student panels
  • Partners with campus partners like Career Services, CURF, Writing Center and Financial Aid to provide workshops on various aspects of considering and applying for graduate and professional school.
  • Gives you the benefit of free test prep for the GRE and LSAT


All PennCAP students from their Sophomore through Senior year are eligible to apply for the GSMI.

Once selected, the program requirements are as follows:

  • Meet with your mentor a minimum of once per month and maintain communication
  • Attend 4 scheduled workshops
  • Meet with an advisor from Career Services and CURF
  • Connect with your PennCAP Academic Coordinator as required



Application Process

Applications with Qualtrics links are out in September and October and are made available by the PennCAP office to PennCAP students.

Workshops are open to all PennCAP and P1P students.

The benefit of test prep is only offered to GSMI participants.