CWiC Speaking Advisor Application Information 2019-20


COLL-135.301 The Art of Speaking: CWiC Speaking Advisor Training—MWF 1:00-2:00 pm

COLL-135.101 Field Work—W 2:00-3:00 pm


CWiC Advisor’s Job Description:

CWiC is Penn’s public speaking tutoring program. A CWiC Advisor is an undergraduate public speaking coach, an important resource for any Penn student who wants to be heard. To become an advisor, you must apply, interview, and be invited to enroll in our training seminar, COLL-135. An advisor is expected to work for CWiC each academic year after successfully completing the course with the exception of a semester abroad and summers. Each semester an advisor is assigned to work with one affiliated course, teach a public speaking workshop, and attend 3-5 CWiC meetings. Walk-in advising hours (Speaking Center) are optional. The advisor listens to peers’ speeches and helps peers revise their speeches. Advisors are expected to model respectful listening and engaging speaking habits. Advisors must be able to make CWiC a top priority, having plenty of availability to work with students. 


Application Eligibility:

Only Penn undergraduates may apply. Seniors are not eligible. First, second, and third year students are encouraged to apply. If you enjoy listening to speeches and want to support your peers as they work to improve their speaking abilities, you should apply. You must also be interested in understanding your own strengths and weaknesses and in improving your skills as a communicator—both in listening and in speaking.


Application Answers: 

Q: Do I need experience in competitive speaking?

No. Although experience in competitive forms of speaking (ie: Forensics, Student Congress, Model UN, Mock Trial) may be helpful in some respects, such experience does not necessarily help one become an effective peer tutor and is not required. It does not give you an advantage. 


Q: Do I need to be an outstanding public speaker?

No. More important than your current speaking skill level is your desire to both be coached and to coach your peers. An important part of the course is giving and receiving constructive feedback. If you believe that you do not need to improve as a public speaker, then you should not apply. If you want to become a more engaging and creative public speaker, then you should apply.


Q: Do I need to be an outstanding listener?

Yes. Few of us are outstanding listeners, though, so you can strive to improve your abilities as an active listener. However, when you apply, you need to be a very attentive listener who won’t make excuses. If you need to be checking your phone or monitoring social media while in class or doing anything that is not CWiC-related, then you should not waste your time by applying. If you value listening as much (or more than) speaking, then you should apply.


Application Instructions

Because students who successfully complete the course then work as paid speaking advisors during subsequent semesters, interested students must complete an application for admission to the course (

If, after reviewing the web site, you have questions, contact Dr. Sue Weber, CWiC’s Associate Director, at


2019-20 Application Timeline:

  • Mon Nov. 30th applications due*
  • Dec. 4th-Dec. 10th —(30 minute) CWiC Advisors interview invited candidates [p0o987654321w`
  • Dec. 12th—CWiC invites selected students to register for the course (given a permit)
  • Dec. 21st—Deadline for registration

*If you learn about the course and CWiC Advisor’s job later and want to apply, contact Dr. Weber ( to ask if applications are still being accepted.