Partners for Academic Excellence (PAE) for Student-Athletes

Co-sponsored by Undergraduate Advising and Research and the Athletic Department, the PAE mentoring program assists Stanford student-athletes in managing their demanding schedules to ensure academic excellence and in using their limited free time efficiently to ensure academic excellence and also to help prepare them for future employment opportunities through professional development. First-year student-athletes register for a 1-unit class, "UAR 56 “Building a Successful Academic Career,” led by an upper-class student-athlete mentor and a graduate student mentor. Student-athletes will have the opportunity to meet and talk with faculty  in a relaxed, informal setting. The PAE mentoring program is offered in both Autumn and Winter quarters for first year student-athletes who have the option of earning 1-unit of academic credit by completing course activities. Autumn quarter focuses on the student-athlete’s transition to life at Stanford and introduces them to the numerous academic and non-academic resources that will be beneficial throughout their Stanford career. Winter quarter focuses on preparing student-athletes for future job and internship opportunities, culminating with a functional resume and LinkedIn profile created by each student-athlete. Mentors facilitate weekly small group meetings with a wide-ranging curriculum.

Autumn Quarter

The focus during the Autumn quarter is on making a smooth transition to Stanford, both academically and socially, by establishing strong time management skills, exploring campus resources, and establishing connections with faculty. The curriculum includes, but is not limited to:

  • Transition from high school to college
  • Establishing connections with other student-athletes
  • Coping with academic and athletic struggles
  • Introductory Seminars
  • Faculty engagement

Winter Quarter

The curriculum for Winter quarter focuses on professional development in an effort to prepare student-athletes for future job and internship opportunities. This course is intended to encourage first year student-athletes to think about future employment opportunities early in their academic career so they feel prepared and confident when opportunities arise. The curriculum includes, but is not limited to:

  • Stanford Community Engagement 
  • Strategizing long-term goals
  • Leadership opportunities 
  • First-year reflection 
  • Career exploration 
  • Stanford Career Education, BEAM


The mentors are crucial to the success of the PAE program. The undergraduate mentors are Stanford upper-class student-athletes and come from a variety of backgrounds and sports teams. Having been in their shoes only a few years prior, the undergraduate mentors serve as invaluable resources for the first year student-athletes with regards to the overall Stanford undergraduate experience. The graduate student mentors come from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, School of Law, School of Medicine, School of Education, or are involved in a Coterminal Master’s or PhD program at the University. The majority of the graduate student mentors were previously student-athletes as undergrads and understand how to leverage those skills and experiences in the working world, which they share with their first year student-athlete mentees.

Please contact the PAE Coordinator, Shannon Wilson, at with any questions or concerns regarding the PAE Mentoring Program.