Advising and Referral

The foundation of the program rests on the on-going individual advising and academic counseling students receive from SSS staff. Advising is provided to help students focus and direct academic efforts towards their chosen area of interest as well as potential career goals. Along with the many other resources on campus, students will have a place to discuss options, opportunities, and possibilities.

Cultural Events and Leadership Activities

Students are provided opportunities for leadership development and exposure to various cultural events. Each year, the SSS program brings students to the TRIO Day Leadership Conference and to at least one theater event in the Twin Cities area. Each spring, a recognition banquet is held to honor the graduating seniors. To view upcoming events, please click here.

Financial Aid Advising

Students are assisted in completing their financial aid applications through group information sessions and individual sessions. Seminars during the Summer Bridge Program provide students with information on the financial aid process.

Graduate School Preparation

Each year, SSS brings approximately 20 students to visit graduate schools. Graduate schools visited are different each year. Recent trips include:

  • The University of Iowa, Iowa State University, and University of Northern Iowa
  • New York University in New York
  • Loyola University and Northwestern University in Chicago
  • The University of California, Berkeley, and Stanford in San Francisco
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison in Madison, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and Marquette University
  • University of North Carolina and Duke University
  • Saint Louis University and Washington University

Students are assisted in applying for summer research and graduate school preparation programs. Students are encouraged to attend GRE, LSAT and MCAT strategy sessions offered by the Piper Center for Vocation and Career. For more information on these sessions, creating a personal statement, application process and much more visit The Piper Center for Vocation and Career.

Individual Success Plan Program for Academic Achievement

The SSS Individual Success Plan (ISP) helps students create an efficient, mindful & purposeful plan for their college future and success. Depending on which tier they complete, they will earn certain dividends (i.e.  electronic gift card of their choice, early registration privileges & a GPA gift card.)

Each semester, students are awarded a $15 for a 2.8-3.29 GPA, $20 for a 3.3-3.49, $25 for 3.5-4.0 during both fall and spring semesters.  Students must be in good standing with the SSS program (have met their Individual Success Plan) in order to receive a gift cards. This ISP program is made possible by the generous contribution of a donor to the SSS program.

Research, Internships and Scholarship Opportunities

Throughout a student’s time at St. Olaf, SSS staff members provide assistance in finding and applying for a variety of out-of-class learning opportunities mentored by faculty and other professionals. Students are informed of scholarships for which they are eligible and are assisted to apply.

Supplemental Instruction(SI)

SI is an academic assistance program that increases student performance and retention. The SI program targets traditionally difficult courses and provides regularly scheduled, out-of-class, peer facilitated sessions. SI sessions integrate how-to-learn with what-to-learn.


SSS students are provided with tutoring through the The Center for Advising and Academic Support. SSS students who desire a tutor should contact x3288.

SSS Summer Bridge Program

The SSS Summer Bridge Program is a program for entering first-year students which helps them earn an academic credit toward St. Olaf College’s general education and graduation requirements. More importantly, along with developing a sense of community with SSS students and staff, the experience introduces students to St. Olaf and what the college has to offer to promote academic, career and personal development. Opportunities for on-campus work are also a component of the program.

Lending Library Program

The SSS program provides each student with the ability to utilize our lending library where students have access to check out various college course textbooks, TI-89 calculators, lab equipment and MacBook laptops. In order to take advantage of the lending library, SSS students need to actively taking courses at St. Olaf as well as completing an Individual Success Plan. Failure to return item at the end of the semester will result in the cost of the materials being charged to the student’s account.

SSS Supplemental Grant and Hearst Endowment Grant

First-years and Sophomore students may be eligible for an additional grant from the SSS Program. Grants usually range from $400 to $ 2,000. To be eligible, students must be receiving a Pell grant and have a loan component of approximately $4,000 or more. This grant is applied directly to the student’s financial aid package to reduce a student’s loan component.

The Hearst Endowment provides funds to assist students to purchase their books. In order to receive funds, students must be active participants in the program and complete a contract designed with his/her SSS advisor. Awards range in the amount of $25 to $50 depending upon the semester.

Professional Development and Emergency Fund

Active SSS members also have the opportunity to apply for additional professional development and emergency funding which is reviewed by a panel of professional staff. Funds are distributed on a case by case basis.