First-Year Experience

The Peer Coaching program is a mentorship program that connects First Time in College (FTIC) students with a student leader on campus known as a Peer Coach. Peer Coaches are experienced USF St. Petersburg campus students who serve on the staff of the Compass Student Experience Office.

As student leaders, Peer Coaches support their peers in their transition into USF through conversations based around involvement, belonging, and academics. Peer Coaches provide guidance for students to succeed at USF St. Petersburg campus through one-on-one meetings and individual outreach. Through these conversations, any additional referral or support identified is bridged from the peer coach to the appropriate campus partner. Meeting with a Peer Coach is not mandatory but is highly encouraged.

Click here to meet the Peer Coaches!

Throughout your first year at the USF St. Petersburg campus, our office will be offering a variety of programming options that promote student success and help with navigating the transition to college.  

Peer Coach Reveal
Peer Coach Reveal is an opportunity for students to find out which peer coach they have been paired with in a fun and energetic atmosphere. Taking place every Summer and Fall the weekend before classes begin, members of either the Summer or Fall Peer Coach team come out on stage individually and reveal their color/sign that coordinates with their students’ nametags. Students then break off into small groups with their now revealed Peer Coach and get to know each other more, as well as begin to discuss how often they would like to meet up and stay in communication. If students are not able to attend Peer Coach Reveal, their Peer Coach is revealed when they receive their first introductory email.

Week of Welcome (WOW) 
Week of Welcome (WOW) provides each student an opportunity to start the semester off right with signature programs and engaging activities. All programs and activities are designed to help first-year students meet new people and get connected with the USF St. Petersburg campus community. Programs are hosted by a variety of offices to get students connected and learn more about what our campus has to offer. 

COMPASS Adventures
Compass Adventures are peer-led activities off-campus that help new students build connections with their peers and develop an understanding of the St. Petersburg campus community. The events are planned throughout the academic year.

Learning Journeys 
Learning Journeys are faculty- or staff-led activities, focusing on an academic specialty, hobby, or interest of the faculty or staff member. Learning Journeys provide an opportunity for students to learn more about potential career paths while getting to know faculty and staff outside of the classroom. 

Taste of Success
Tastes of Success are staff-led activities that are intended to connect students with key resources or personnel on campus through a shared meal. In addition to this connection, these programs provide an accessible meal to students who may be in need.

Stay Connected 


Because of the geographic distribution of our campuses, USF supports our new students from three offices.

St. Petersburg campus: Visit the COMPASS Student Experience Office.
Tampa campus: Visit the Office of New Student Connections.
Sarasota-Manatee campus: Visit the Office of Student Engagement.