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As a Bridges student, you have direct access to some of the most helpful resources available at SUNY Potsdam. The following services are available to all Bridges participants:

Orientation Program

  • All new Bridges students will attend one of the college's summer orientation sessions (View Orientation Website). You will receive information regarding these sessions from the Admissions office once you are formally admitted to SUNY Potsdam.
  • These orientation sessions provide you with a customized Bridges experience and expert advising.
  • Our staff will provide information regarding the General Education program, academic majors and minors, and the many services and activities that will be available to you as an undergraduate student.
  • You will meet in a small group setting, then one-on-one, with a Bridges Advisor during your orientation session to review program services and to register for your first semester classes. You will also complete the Bridges Learning Contract (PDF), which outlines all the responsibilities of a Bridges student.
  • Bridges students are expected to take advantage of reserved seats in two of the most sought after academic courses during their first semester: First Year Success Seminar (FY100) and Writing & Critical Thinking (COMP101), while limiting their overall course schedule to 15 credit hours.

Counseling Assistance

  • You will be assigned to a Bridges Advisor who will serve as your main contact with our program.
  • Your Bridges Advisor provides assistance with personal, academic, social, financial and career concerns. We can also refer you to the College Counseling Center for additional support.
  • As a new student you will be expected to meet with your Bridges Advisor at least once per month during your first year to review your academic progress and to discuss any concerns.
  • The amount of required contact during your second semester depends upon your academic standing at the conclusion of your first semester.

Course Scheduling

  • All Bridges students are encouraged to consult with their Bridges Advisor regarding their course selections for the second semester.
  • In addition to helping you select and register for appropriate courses, we also ensure that you understand the college's General Education Program and other important academic requirements.

Tutoring Assistance

  • You can receive, upon request, free tutoring assistance in any of your content courses from a variety of sources.
  • Group tutoring is available to you through the Student Success Center in Sisson Hall. The SUNY Potsdam Writer's Block and Math Lab provide individual tutoring for applicable courses. Some students may also be eligible for free one-on-one tutoring through TRiO.

Bridges Group Meetings

  • During each semester you are expected to attend group meetings which are designed to assist in your successful transition to SUNY Potsdam.
  • These meetings will cover a variety of academic issues and other related topics, from course selection to financial aid.
  • The Bridges Program will contact you directly at the beginning of each semester and throughout the year to announce meeting schedules and topics.

Selecting A Major

  • Since over half of our students enter their first year without a major field of study (we call this an "Undeclared/Exploratory" major), a focus of the Bridges program is to assist you in this selection.
  • During the fall semester, you will attend the college's “Major Affair” program designed to introduce you to academic departments and programs at Potsdam. You will continue to explore these options and opportunities with your Bridges Advisor throughout the year.
  • Bridges encourages activities designed to help you clarify your career goals and select the major which best prepares you to meet them. In particular, “Undeclared/Exploratory” students are asked to enroll in a career development course, which is offered for course credit through the college.

Once you officially declare a major, you will be assigned a faculty advisor in your chosen department. However, you are still encouraged and expected to meet regularly with your Bridges Advisor.