Home of Sidney Kimmel Medical College

Student Engagement

New Commuter & Off-Campus Students

Hello Commuters & Off-Campus Students! 

Let us be one of the first to welcome you to the Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University) Family!  My name is Heather Horowitz and I am the Associate Director of Student Engagement at PhilaU.  I have the pleasure of overseeing the Office of Commuter Life & Off-Campus Housing, so I hope to connect with many of you during Orientation and over the first few weeks of the semester.  I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself as well as speak to some of the different components of our office.  

A common early fear of commuting students (and their families) is that living off-campus is a disadvantage.  While commuting to campus may present some challenges, studies have indicated that students who have high interaction with their university's academic and social systems are more likely to persist in college.  What does this mean?  Students living off-campus, are just as likely to be engaged as residential students, and their engagement is positively related to college success.  Let us help you make the most of your PhilaU experience! 

Check out our initiatives exclusively offered to our 1st year/new transfer off-campus students:

  • As an off-campus student, you will be assigned a Commuter Assistant (CA) according to the first letter of your last name.  CAs are upper-class, off-campus students who will help with your introduction and transition into the PhilaU community.  CAs provide opportunities for new students to connect with one another and familiarize themselves with campus resources, traditions, and services. CAs will host many special events and programs to help first year/new transfer commuters become involved and meet other members of the PhilaU Family.
  • Earn Commuter Cash (C-Cash) for your involvement, grades, utilization of campus resources and participation in the campus community. At the end of each semester, you can use your C-Cash to win prizes. Past prizes include SEPTA passes, an external hard drive, PhilaU Gear, Nintendo Wii, Xbox360, blu ray player, iPod touch, beats by Dre, TOMS, gift cards to local restaurants, and more. We get prize ideas directly from YOU so be prepared to earn your C-Cash and share your ideas!
  • ALL commuters are invited to join the Commuter Involvement Committee (CIC). CIC provides a forum for off-campus students to meet one another, participate in campus traditions, and discuss topics related to the off-campus student community. Meeting information will be shared via email and social media outlets.
  • Network with other 1st year/transfer commuters at our Monthly Commuter Community Meetings facilitated by our amazing Commuter Assistant staff. Featured refreshments at each meeting! 
  • Meet with a Commuter Assistant for One–on-One for a chat at Ted's Barista (snack on us!).  Want to get more connected to campus?  Utilize the Commuter Assistants. They’re pros!

The opportunities listed above are only a glimpse of what Jefferson has to offer.  Take advantage of them!  Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns.  Best of luck and see you soon!


HH Signature

Heather Horowitz
Associate Director of Student Engagement