Penji Has Arrived

BC Students Now Using Penji App to Schedule Campus Resource Appointments


Jaia Dunbar

Junior Jordyn Christmas helping student during her shift at the Writing Center. They used Penji to schedule the meeting that was being held in the Academic Resource Suite.

Jaia Dunbar, Staff Writer

Bridgewater, Va. – Penji is a platform that Bridgewater College is now using to help students schedule sessions with tutors and other campus resources. Penji comes in the form of a website and an app. 

In the past, students had to send emails to schedule appointments with certain services or have face-to-face meetings with the department chair to get assigned a tutor. Students can now rely on Penji to take out the middleman and get directly connected to the resources they need with a faster turnaround. 

“When we do events for the digital scholarship gurus, we have people sign in through Penji so we can keep track of everyone who showed up,” said junior Courtney Larrick. “If they register ahead of time they can schedule their visit through the app, but if they just show up during the event, we have them log onto the website since it is quicker to access.”

“It streamlines the process for students,” said Director of Student Outreach and Tutoring, John Manson. “It allows students to ‘see what is available’ and sign up without having to wait.”

The services available are considered communities that you can join. The communities that can be found on Penji consist of the writing center, academic tutoring, digital scholarship gurus, disability services, academic coaching, academic support/transition, career services, math center and learning and research services. 

“When I first went to schedule my academic coaching sessions for this year, I had to join the academic coaching community,” said senior Alicia Mccarthy. “Now when I sign in, I am already in the community, so it is easier to reach out to my academic coach and other coaches.”

When people want to meet with a resource they can request an appointment through Penji, or stop by and be considered a drop-in student. 

“I wanted to get a paper proofread by someone from the writing center, so I stopped by as a drop-in during my break between classes and one of the tutors who did not have an appointment was able to help me,” said junior Katie Brooks.

“Most of my students schedule appointments with me through the website,” said senior Abigail Brown, who is a Spanish tutor.

Penji, like all new platforms, still has issues that have to be worked out, along with other standard problems that have to be worked through.

“For classes with no tutor listed, students can still make a request and we will work to hire a tutor and start a new group,” said Manson.

Many first-year students and upperclassmen alike have not used Penji. Some students are still unsure of what Penji is and how it works.

“I had no clue what Penji was until yesterday at practice. My teammate said she was going to schedule a meeting on Penji,” said sophomore Kathryn Tolone. “It sounds better than emailing people back and forth in my opinion.”

“I found out about Penji through my FILA professor, but I don’t really know much about it,” said first-year Destini Baylor.

“I’m pretty sure my FILA professor told me about it, but I didn’t use it until I went to visit the writing center,” said first-year Kahli Mckenzie.

Some of the first-years and upperclassmen did not have the opportunity to test out the old systems, so Penji was their first experience reaching out to campus services.  

“It makes sense once you figure out how to use it,” said Mckenzie. “I made an appointment in like a minute. It’s pretty easy to use.”

“I thought it was hard to use and kind of confusing,” said Baylor.

“It was not a requirement to meet with tutors my first year at Bridgewater, and because of Covid-19 last year all my classes were virtual, so my first experience has been with Penji,” said Brooks. “I thought it was simple to use once I figured it out and I am glad we have this platform.”

Students can log into Penji online using their BC Single Sign-on information. Students can also download Penji from the App Store and Google Play.