Sep 27, 2021  
2018-2019 SUNY Potsdam Academic Catalog 
2018-2019 SUNY Potsdam Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Interdisciplinary Studies

Learning Communities

Contact Person: Lisa M. Wilson, Department of English and Communication
133 Morey, (315) 267-2004,

Learning Communities are cohorts of ten to 30 students enrolled together in an interdisciplinary set of two to five courses. Instructors often collaborate to integrate their courses around a theme or problem. Examples of recent Learning Communities are Environmental Studies, Power and Money and Bridging Cultures. Nationwide research indicates that Learning Communities intensify cooperation among students and faculty, forming a community of scholars. Students and faculty are motivated by the interaction and see more clearly the ways in which each discipline contributes to an overall understanding of the issue under study.

Each Fall, first-time students enroll in one of more than two dozen First-Year Interest Groups (FIGs), such as Archaeology, Natural Science and Pre-Med, Childhood Education, or Theatre Production. Many FIGs include the First-Year Success Seminar (FYSS), a course designed to accelerate students’ adaptation to college life and study, and some include a residential component. After the Fall semester, upper division Learning Communities may be available. Some, such as Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) Potsdam, serve specific majors, while others, such as Invitation to Health, enroll students of many majors by satisfying General Education requirements.

Adirondack Experience for First-Year Students

Contact: Environmental Studies Department
311 Satterlee Hall, (315) 267-2768,

The Adirondack Experience is a coordinated program for first-year students who are concerned about environmental issues and want to get outdoors to learn about the region. The program is offered in the Fall semester, and includes four courses (12 credits) from different disciplines that share a common environmental studies emphasis. A highlight of the program, the Friday field trips in the Adirondacks, provide a great way to integrate the classes through applied learning. Students also explore our relationships with nature through journal writing, projects, class discussion and hands on fieldwork. Courses include composition, environmental studies, ecology and a first year success seminar, but may change slightly year to year.

The Adirondack Experience is open to all first-year students, and is particularly appropriate for those interested in Potsdam’s Environmental Studies major or minor. The program fulfills several general education requirements and is limited to 20 students.