2021 Commencement Information
This is a place where everyone - professors, students, and staff - support each other and come together to share in the thrill of discovery, the joy of learning, and the gratification that comes with contributing to society.
Here, students work with professors and staff to tap into their unique abilities, talents, and aspirations. Together, they design a complete college experience that combines academics, internships, fellowships, and service learning. By the time they graduate, Whittier students possess résumés with the real-world experience and skills that employers are looking for.
All incoming students are paired with a Faculty Mentor who teaches their Freshman Writing Seminar and advises them until they are ready to declare a major. Once a major is declared, students are paired with a faculty adviser who will guide them through the remainder of their time at Whittier.
In addition to opportunities facilitated by the Center for Career and Professional Development, academic departments also connect students to internships within their field. Through these established connections, Whittier students have completed internships at Aerospace Corporation, City of Hope, the United Nations, and Intex in China, among others.
Whittier students are encouraged to pursue formal research and educational opportunities that further their understanding of a topic and enhance their academic experience. Fellowships, which are similar to scholarships but are designed to cover expenses for a specific purpose such as education, research, teaching, or public service, are available and can be explored with guidance from Professor Sylvia Vetrone, Director of Fellowships. Among the popular fellowship programs at Whittier are the Nixon Fellowship and the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship.
Access and equitable learning are a priority for Whittier College. Students can receive personalized support services such as tutoring through the Center for Advising & Academic Success (CAAS). Students with documented disabilities qualify for expanded support services through the Office of Student Disability Services.
Our Center for Engagement with Communities connects the College with non-profit organizations and local government in Whittier and the neighboring communities. On average, 300 to 400 of our students work in the community—in internships and classes, or in volunteer service. From tutoring at local schools and youth clubs, to serving as docents at museums, to conducting research for local hospitals, to working with environmental groups protecting the Whittier Hills, to traveling to New Orleans to help in the post-Katrina clean-up and rebuilding, our students are vitally involved in the local and global community.