Thesis Support: A Comprehensive, Multi-Support Approach


  • Nichola D. Gutgold
  • Debra J. Rodgers


The completion of an undergraduate thesis may be the single most rewarding and most challenging aspect of graduating with honors.  However, simply encouraging students is not enough to ensure that most students will complete the thesis successfully.  Research shows that students need more than verbal encouragement.  The multi-support approach, which includes face-to-face meetings, peer mentoring, online discipline-specific thesis guides and a dedicated thesis course throughout the curriculum have reduced the number of thesis related withdrawals, and have likely improved the quality of the theses from the Schreyer Honors College at Penn State University.  In this article, the supports that have been implemented are described to offer any institution or program requiring a thesis a variety of proven best practices to support students through their thesis process.