SSS Summer Bridge Program

This free, for-credit summer session is designed to give highly motivated students a solid foundation for their college experience. This five-week Bridge program begins during the last week of July, and offers a mix of academic and social activities. These include:

  • Orientation to the St. Olaf experience
  • Introduction to College Writing
  • Science Course (a for-credit foundation course)
  • Social and cultural activities
  • Mentoring
  • Academic Advising
  • Supplemental Instruction (study skills)


Students may worry about giving up a month of their summer to participate in the program. However, there are so many benefits to participating in the SSS Summer Bridge Program that it is definitely worth the time. Some of the benefits include:

  • Earn a course credit that counts toward your graduation requirements
  • Learn and develop valuable study skills that will help you throughout college
  • Improve your writing skills
  • Get to know the campus well
  • Develop relationships with professors and staff
  • Develop a support network with your classmates and upper-class summer program staff
  • Attend fun activities and events
  • Make life-long friends


The Summer Bridge Program’s focus is on academics, but having a balanced social life and fun is important. Here are some of the activities (mostly on Friday evenings and Saturdays) in which students participate during the summer program. All activity costs are paid by the program.

  • Comedy Sportz (Minneapolis)
  • Camping/Canoeing
  • Cultural Play (Minneapolis/St. Paul area)
  • Movies
  • Bowling
  • Team Building Camp
  • Mall of America
  • Swimming
  • End of the Summer Banquet

Summer Bridge Forms

Students admitted into the Summer Bridge program will receive an information packet from SSS the middle of May. Listed below are forms that will be included in this packet. These forms will need to be filled out and returned to SSS prior to the start of the Summer Bridge Program. *Links for these forms will be posted early May.


  • Science course for credit = Earn a credit while fulfilling the science course with lab component of the general education requirement.
  • Writing Workshop = Prepare yourself for college-level writing.
  • Supplemental Instruction = Learn important study skills to succeed in college while studying and reviewing the Biology course material.
  • Orientation = Learn about the opportunities available to you on campus.
  • Mentoring = The program employs current upper-class St. Olaf students as group mentors and biology teaching assistants. The staff participate in the program and live with you in the Residence Hall to provide guidance and help in your transition to college life.
  • Academic Advising = You will be assigned to one of the full-time professional staff to serve as your academic advisor. They will work with you from the start of the summer program until graduation to help you make the most of your college life. They will work with you to choose classes and a major(s), look for internship and scholarship opportunities, apply for graduate school, complete your FAFSA, and pretty much anything else that helps you succeed in college.