Overview of the Proctor’s Role
Individuals who serve as Freshman Proctors provide guidance for first-year students in all aspects of their exploration of Harvard. Proctors reside in freshman dormitories and are the members of the College staff with whom first-year students have the most extensive contact.
Proctors work under the direction of a Resident Dean of Freshmen to create an academic and social community among 20 to 40 first-year students and provide academic counseling to approximately eight to 10.
Proctor Responsibilities: Three Parts
Each proctor develops a general knowledge of the College’s academic curriculum and requirements to help students plan course schedules, assist when they encounter academic difficulties, and consider with them their overall plan of study. Proctors do not always have the answers students seek, but they are knowledgeable about resources in order to make referrals.
Because proctors live in the dormitories, they provide important personal and social counsel as first-year students adjust to independent life in the College. And proctors are also charged with building a sense of community, through weekly study breaks.
As officers of the University, proctors play a disciplinary role and are therefore responsible for understanding, implementing, and enforcing the rules and regulations of Harvard College. They also work with senior members of the administration to balance appropriately these disciplinary responsibilities with their roles as counselor and advocate.
Student Perspectives on Proctors
Coming into college, I was worried that I would have trouble fitting into a new community, but the transition was flawless, largely because of my proctor. Apart from being very easy to reach out to, she is constantly searching for new ways to instill a sense of community into our entryway and strives to make all the students around her happy. She is always in a great mood and is available at any time for advice or help with any issues regarding college life.
My proctor was amazing! From the beginning of the year, he fostered a sense of community that led to an incredibly tight-knit entryway of friends. He was amazingly helpful as a resource for academic questions, both dealing with hard situations in a calming and reassuring manner, and actually providing very helpful and wise advice. He was also very fair with applying the rules and understood that 18- and 19-year-olds make mistakes.