Jun 13, 2024  
2012-2013 Undergraduate Catalog 
2012-2013 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Academic Support Resources

Oswego has many resources and facilities that support student learning and complete the nurturing environment of our academic community. An overview of some of them follows.

Office of Learning Services (OLS)


171 Campus Center


SUNY Oswego provides academic and tutoring support services to all students enrolled at the college. The Office of Learning Services (OLS) houses three particular services, the Writing Center, the Learning Center, and the Center for Mathematics and Natural Sciences which students, especially lower division students, find helpful. Students who would like to work on improving particular skills, on mastering a particular subject, or are interested in improving their ability to succeed on tests in a particular course can take advantage of these services. Supervised by full-time professional staff of the college, tutoring is typically provided by undergraduate students who have been successful in a particular course or an academic major and who have received training in how to effectively assist students in improving their basic skills, mastering their understanding of course content, or in learning how to be a better student. Tutorial support is available for all lower division courses. Students may request services by applying in person or on-line.

The Office of Learning Services also administers the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) and the First Year Select program. The EOP program combines access, academic support, and supplemental financial assistance to make higher education possible for those students who have the potential to succeed. EOP admission is part of the general college admissions process and the program requires the successful completion of a mandatory summer program prior to the start of freshman year. The First Year Select program is designed for first year students who would benefit from a learning community designed to foster the development of sound study and critical thinking skills. It is a series of courses combining a composition course, a mathematics course (based on placement), a learning to learn course, and either a gateway course or a General Education course. The community provides study groups and coordinated syllabi, which enhance good study and learning techniques and ensure that the student makes progress toward meeting the college’s basic skills requirements.

Campus Technology Services




Campus Technology Services (CTS) is an integrated service organization caring for administrative computing, instructional computing, network services, technology user support and telecommunications. The department delivers a broad set of infrastructure, applications and services vital to the mission and operation of the College.

Students can start using the technology services on campus by activating their Laker NetID. This is the account required to use many of the services on campus including email, the residence hall network (ResNet), the wireless network, the computer labs, and more. Online activation is available from the “Account Activation Link” at  www.oswego.edu/mail.

Electronic mail (e-mail) is an official mechanism of communication at SUNY Oswego. Students, faculty, and staff have the responsibility to use this e-mail in an efficient, effective, respectful, ethical and lawful manner. All are expected to check their SUNY Oswego e-mail on a frequent and consistent basis in order to stay current with college-related communications. Please refer to www.oswego.edu/cts/policies for more information on technology policies. 

Internet access is available in student residence hall rooms through a wired connection. Students living on campus may connect their personal computer to access the campus network as well as the Internet from their room. Some residence halls also have wireless access available. There are many wireless computing spaces around campus, identified by a wireless logo. The wireless areas on campus are intended to cover classrooms and public gathering spaces such as academic commons, dining halls, Penfield Library, and the Campus Center. Exact locations of wireless spaces can be found at www.oswego.edu/cts/wireless.

There are numerous computer labs available on campus. CTS provides over 250 Windows and Macintosh computers for general student access and over 700 computers in specialized departmental labs. There are general access computer labs for student use in Penfield Library (including the 24-hour room), Mahar Hall, Snygg Hall, and Campus Center. There are also labs available in three of the residence halls - Oneida, Scales, and Hart. 

Departmental computer labs are available to students in their academic programs. These are located in the Art, Graphic Arts, Chemistry, Communication Studies, Computer Science, Mathematics, Modern Languages, Music, Physics, Psychology, and Technology departments as well as the School of Education, and the School of Business. 

Phone service is available upon request to students living in the residence halls. On-campus phone calls can be made and incoming calls received at no charge. A billing plan is required to make off-campus phone calls. To set up a billing plan visit the Telecommunications website www.oswego.edu/cts/phone or the Telecommunications Office on the first floor of Culkin Hall.

The myOswego web site, myoswego.oswego.edu, provides student access to their personal college records. Students can register for classes, pay their bill, review financial aid, check their grades, sign up for campus emergency communications, and more. 

CTS also provides technology for student and faculty use in the classroom. Many of classrooms are equipped with video/data projection, audio system, VCR/DVD player, document camera, and networked computer access. 

The Technology Support Center (TSC - aka the Help Desk) is available to assist students with any of the technology services provided by CTS. Located in 26 Lanigan Hall, the TSC provides a central location and single point of contact for technology support and information. The TSC also provides support over the phone(315-312-3456) or by email at help@oswego.edu. Visit the TSC online at www.oswego.edu/help.

Collegiate Science & Technology Entry Program

171 Campus Center
The Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP) at SUNY College at Oswego is a scholars program designed to increase the number of historically underrepresented minorities and economically disadvantaged students in scientific, technical, business, and health-related professions, as well as those seeking post-baccalaureate education. CSTEP stresses the importance of high levels of student achievement and involvement. Through CSTEP you get to know and work one-on-one with faculty committed to student success, doing independent research, exploring employment and graduate school opportunities, and developing friendships that last beyond the college years. CSTEP gives students a unique opportunity to interact and work with other students throughout New York State, whom also take their education seriously. Students participate in a wide variety of activities including traveling to academic conferences, graduate school fairs, and career fairs. Additionally, CSTEP students go through extensive preparation for graduate school, including test preparation and assistance in identifying programs.

CSTEP’s mission is to provide a structured network of services that fosters the development of each student’s academic, social, and personal skills with support, guidance, and encouragement of faculty, staff, and fellow CSTEP students. As a CSTEP member students have access to a wide variety of workshops, programs, and support services including networking, mentoring, personal and professional development, exam preparation, tutoring assistance, use of technology, and personalized support.

Participants in CSTEP are expected to be good academic citizens. This means that you will be actively involved in the programs, workshops, and services that the program offers. To be a member in CSTEP you must be a resident of New York State; historically underrepresented in math, science, technology, and health-related fields; a full-time student in good academic standing pursing a degree in an eligible major; and have a GPA of 2.50 of higher. Students who meet these guidelines can pick up an application from the CSTEP Office. CSTEP staff will review the application and notify students upon acceptance.



145 Campus Center
COMPASS is a comprehensive  center for student success designed to assist students in accomplishing four major goals: Discovering Your Vision, Developing Your Skills, Defining Your Future, and Distinguishing Yourself. The staff of the COMPASS is available to assist students in navigating the transition into, through, and out-of college through a variety of personal growth and support programs. Through interaction with these program areas, students may receive help with self assessment and college major confirmation, gain experience through community volunteer and service learning activities, secure internships on and off campus and obtain assistance with job and/or graduate school search.

Services within the COMPASS are:

  • First Year Programs
  • Major Exploration/Confirmation and Advisement of Undeclared Students
  • Transfer Student Services
  • Community Service and Service Learning programs and placements
  • Civic Engagement
  • Experienced-Based Education
  • Career Services and Job Search Assistance

First-Year Programs



SUNY Oswego’s First Year Programs are designed to help freshmen to be successful in college. These programs include: First Year Advisement (see Academic Advisement under the Curriculum Information section of this catalog), First Choice Academic Experience, and First Year Residential Experience. These programs are geared towards helping the students connect to the faculty, staff and each other.

The First Choice Academic Experience offers small classes specially designed to help first-year students gain skills and access resources necessary to be successful in college. These courses are integrated into the regular curriculum and taught primarily by full-time faculty and staff, providing opportunities for individual attention from the professor and solid group interaction. Oswego offers Preceptor, Gateway, and Service Learning courses in multiple subject areas, as well as Special Interest Programs for eligible individuals including CHAMPS for athletes and Honors. First Year Learning Communities are also available through First Choice, offering students a chance to take a block of integrated courses.

Johnson Hall houses the First Year Residential Experience (FYRE), which offers a structured community encouraging first-year students to succeed academically. Students have academic and social requirements that assist them in becoming involved with life on-campus and the greater community. 

Major Exploration/Confirmation and Advisement of Undeclared Students



Students who are exploring academic majors and related careers can choose to be “undeclared” for their first and second year at Oswego. All Undeclared students are assigned to a Faculty/Staff Advisor trained to support students in the process of deciding on a major.

Undeclared first year students are required to participate in at least one Compass program, activity, workshop or class specifically designed to support students through the major exploration/confirmation process. Sophomore Undeclared students are encouraged to actively participate in advanced exploratory opportunities (including ‘job shadowing’, community service, and internships) to further support the decision-making process.

There are numerous services and resources available to students who are exploring majors including:

  • Self Assessments
                MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator)®
                Strong Interest Inventory®
                Focus2 Inventories
  • Workshops
  • Courses - GST 103 Exploring your Strengths; GST 110 Life Planning and Major Exploration
  • Undeclared Advisement

Though students may remain undeclared up to the time they complete 60 credit hours, students are encouraged to select and confirm their academic major between 30-45 credit hours as some academic majors have significant core requirements that need to be completed early on to ensure timely progress to graduation.

Transfer Student Services


145 Campus Center

SUNY Oswego’s Transfer Services Office was created in order to provide the almost 900 transfer students with support during their time at Oswego. The Transfer Services Office is responsible for several programs related to transfer success including the MOST Mentoring Program, Tau Sigma National Academic Honor Society, TransferEdge and the Transfer Services website which contains information related to Transfer Orientation, course equivalencies, articulation agreements, transfer student scholarships, and involvement opportunities.

The MOST Mentoring Program (Mentors Offering Support to Transfers) pairs all incoming transfer students with returning transfer students to help new transfer students adjust to their new academic and social community. Tau Sigma is the National Transfer Student Academic Honor Society and any transfer student who transfers in with at least 24 credits and is in the top 20% of their incoming class is eligible.

The Office of Transfer Services is also responsible for the creation and maintenance of program agreements with community colleges and other four-year institutions. We also work with a number of other offices on campus to provide services and programs to aid transfer students in their transition to SUNY Oswego.

Center for Service Learning and Community Service


145 Campus Center

Students and faculty have a number of opportunities to become engaged in the community while they are at SUNY Oswego through both service learning and community service.

Service learning provides a distinctive learning environment in which the community becomes “the classroom” that enhances students’ learning, life experiences, and sense of connection to the greater community. There are several ways students can take part in service learning:

  • GST302 (1 credit): Students can take this course as a stand-alone or in conjunction with another course if the instructor approves. Twenty hours of community service, journals and reflection papers, and attendance at discussion sessions are required.
  • GST302 (2 credits):While enrolled in this course, students take on the role of group leader at a service site in the community. They oversee logistics and facilitate reflection activities with other student volunteers at the site. 80 hours of service, journals, reflection papers, and attendance at discussion sessions are also required.

Many instructors, in a wide array of disciplines, have service learning embedded into their curriculum. Students in these classes apply the skills and/or theory they are learning in a course by providing service to the community. The instructors then incorporate reflection of these experiences into the course however they choose.

The Center for Service Learning and Community Service is a resource to faculty that would like to gain more knowledge of service learning. Staff provide support in setting up service sites and recognition to those faculty who participate.

For those students who choose to voluntarily give up time to participate in community service, there are many options to choose from including on-going sites and one-time events:

On-going sites: Mentor Oswego, Adopt-A-Grandparent, Red Cross and more.
One-time events: Project Serve, Make-A-Difference Day, Alternative Winter and Spring Break, fundraisers, Hunger Banquet, Habitat for Humanity, campus clean-ups, blood drives, and more.

The Center provides a number of other resources including tracking volunteer hours, service transcripts, class presentations, a searchable website, a calendar of upcoming events, a volunteer listserv, and a database with over 170 volunteer sites.

Experience-Based Education


145 Campus Center

Students may earn academic credit for a variety of experiential learning opportunities that include internships, career courses as well as college and community service. Students can identify internship placements with the help of our office, use their own networks, consult published guides, or find placements from on-line sources including our own Laker Leads database. Participation in an introductory workshop is required before beginning any of our programs. Experiences can help students identify an appropriate career direction, confirm a choice of major, or provide insight into the relationship between classroom learning and a field of study. Many of the courses offered are open to first year and second year students as well as juniors and seniors. Academic credit for internships is available to students in Fall, Spring, or Summer. Academic papers, assignments, and other documentation of academic learning are required along with confirmed hours at the placement site. For more information see Experience-Based Education  under the ACADEMIC OPTIONS section of this catalog.

Career Services


145 Campus Center

The Career Services Office makes available a variety of specialized services and programs designed to support the career development activities of current students and those applying for admission to graduate school. Alumni are served on a time-available basis. Programs include:

  • Career planning and self-assessment software
  • Assistance in choosing an academic major
  • Career Exploration Programs - off campus travel and guest speakers
  • Resume/cover letter preparation assistance
  • Workshops and mock interviews
  • On-line listings of local and national full-time jobs and related tools/resources
  • On-campus interviews with employers
  • Job fairs and recruitment events
  • Regional alumni networking programs
  • Electronic reference letter mailing service
  • Graduate school advisement and resources

Environmental Research Center

8 Snygg Hall

Contact: Director, Environmental Research Center, Department of Chemistry 

The Environmental Research Center (ERC) is a specialized research unit of the College housed within the Department of Chemistry. The ERC provides state-of-the-art analytical services for multidisciplinary environmental, human health, and Great Lakes research projects. The ERC specializes in the analysis of congener-specific polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), organochlorine pesticides, and “emerging” chemicals in a variety of environmental matrices. The ERC has two environmental chemistry laboratories equipped with research-grade analytical instrumentation for sample preparation and the measurement of organic contaminants in the environment, including a Waters AutoSpec Premier High Resolution Mass Spectrometer (HRGC-HRMS), two Agilent 7890 GC/EDC with PTV for congener-specific PCB analyses, Agilent 7890/5975C Inert XL EI/CI MSD with PTV and MMI, Waters HPLC-GPC preparation system, and Zymark TurboVap II Workstation.

Recent studies conducted at the ERC have included: Great Lakes Fish Monitoring and Surveillance Program, Lake Ontario Air Deposition Study (LOADS), congener-specific analysis of PCBs in human placental tissues;

reductive dechlorination of PCBs in an anaerobic bioreactor systems; analysis of native Alaskan foods; development of analytical methods for the determination/separation PCBs/PCTs in industrially contaminated sediments; and utilization of snapping turtles and zebra mussels as environmental biomonitors. Research funding is provided through collaborative grants from USEPA, ATSDR, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Novelis Corporation, NYS Great Lakes Protection Fund, Great Lakes Research Consortium, and World Wildlife Federation.

Opportunities exist for interested faculty and students to become involved in collaborative and multidisciplinary research projects. Highly qualified undergraduate and graduate students are supported with extramural research funding and environmental fellowships. Independent study and Capstone research experiences are also offered for qualified students through the Department of Chemistry. 

Office of Business and Community Relations


103 Rich Hall


The Office of Business and Community Relations:

  • Administers the Small Business Development Center, which uses SUNY Oswego faculty, staff and students to counsel individuals who want to start or expand a small business.
  • Provides classroom training and workshops to groups of individuals who want to start small businesses.
  • Administers the Workforce Development Board of Oswego County, which writes and obtains training grants for the private and public sectors.
  • Administers the Leadership Oswego County program, a nine-month program that teaches community trusteeship, leadership skills, current issues and networking to a diverse group of community residents.
  • Provides technical assistance to and conducts workshops for not-for-profit boards that teach governance and organizational development.
  • Provides technical assistance, research, impact analysis and grant writing for local government and community agencies, using SUNY Oswego faculty and professional staff.
  • Serves as a conduit for research projects from the business community to various campus departments.
  • Administers the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), which places people aged 55 and older in volunteer assignments they find meaningful, while at the same time satisfying community needs.
  • Acts as a contact to community, business and government to engage the resources of SUNY Oswego

Penfield Library




Penfield Library, located in the heart of campus, is a high tech information center featuring Internet access to information repositories worldwide, an integrated computer catalog, and our own cyber café. The Library houses a growing collection of over 470,000 bound volumes, two million pieces of microform, and partial U.S. and New York State government documents depositories. Additionally, the Library subscribes to over 24,000 print and/or electronic journals, magazines and newspapers. Over seventy public Internet stations and fifty laptops available for loan inside the building provide access to numerous research databases and full-text resources. Campus Technology Services maintains a computer lab on the first floor of the building which provides students with access to an additional fifty-eight PCs and Macintoshes and networked printing. The lab is open during standard library hours. CTS also maintain twenty-five computers in a separate 24-hour study room on the first floor. The first through third floors are wireless-enabled for further Internet use, as is the Lake Effect Café, which provides pastries, sandwiches, and Starbucks coffee to hungry researchers.

The four-story, air-conditioned building has seating for over one thousand students. In addition to the Café, seating accommodations include large tables, individual open carrels, locked carrels, lounge chairs, and couches. Other spaces are provided throughout the building for individual study and group project work. One entire floor is designated as a Quiet Study Area.

Rapid improvements in information storage and retrieval mean that the business of using a library is constantly changing. Penfield’s well trained, friendly staff provides library users with assistance in choosing and accessing pertinent print and electronic sources for the many academic and personal concerns that are part of today’s college environment. Reference librarians are available whenever the library is open, answering information queries in person, by telephone, and electronically. Librarians serve as liaisons to academic departments, and hand-choose materials specifically for the use of SUNY Oswego students and faculty. Oswego students are exposed to instruction on how to use the library and its resources as part of their English 102 classes, through online tutorials, and in group and one-on-one “Xtreme Research” consultations. Over 80% of students take advantage of library instruction programs every year.

Penfield Library also provides access to materials in other libraries through its interlibrary loan networks, featuring a special, high-speed SUNY university-wide delivery system. Our large media area has equipment for using the library’s collections of videotapes, DVDs, slides, compact discs and other media. The Library’s Special Collections houses the College archives, rare books, and local history materials, including the papers of the United States’ thirteenth president, Millard Fillmore.

Rice Creek Field Station




The College operates a field station located one mile south of the main campus as a year-round facility to provide opportunities for field oriented biological and earth science teaching and research. Guiding this effort is the mission of the Station to be a living laboratory for the advancement of knowledge through ecological research, education, and stewardship of the nature world. To accomplish this mission, the Station has a central building, constructed in 1966, which contains two laboratories, a lecture/seminar room and a small museum area housing collections of plants, vertebrates and invertebrates, and a sheltered outside self-guiding visitors center. Additionally, the grounds surrounding the station include an herb garden and 300 acres of fields, forests, ponds and streams that are used for ecological research by students in formal course work and independent study projects. In addition to academic offerings, the Field Station provides public programs in nature education for groups and individuals, school age to adult. Four nature trails, open to the public, provide opportunities for hiking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. The Orange trail, about two miles in length, is also open for bicycling. The trails pass through fields and woods in several stages of succession. Trail maps are available at the field station building.

The Children’s Center


131A Sheldon Hall


The Children’s Center provides child care and preschool programs for children ages 18 months-5 years. The curriculum areas include art, science, music, cognitive and language development, and outdoor play. Meals and snacks are provided. Tuition is based on a sliding scale according to household income and child care tuition subsidies are sometimes available for low income SUNY students. Call the center as early as possible to be put on the waiting list

Waterman Theatre


Tyler Hall Box Office

tickets@oswego.edu (online sales)

Waterman Theatre is located in Tyler Hall, the Fine and Performing Arts building. This 500 seat continental style theatre includes strong support facilities. The theatre is equipped with counter weighted fly lines, electronic dimmers, stage traps, elevated orchestra pit, a complete intercommunications system and sound system. Support areas include well equipped scene and costume shops, a lighting and electronic experimentation room storage galleries, make-up and dressing rooms, quick change rooms, a green room, and a flexible black box space used for classes and production. Waterman Theatre is used by the Departments of Theatre and Music for their performances, by ARTSwego, and college clubs such as Del Sarte and Gospel Choir.

International Language and Education Center


101 Sheldon Hall


The International Language and Education Center administers the Summer Intensive English Program and the English for Academic Purposes Program for students who are required to or interested in improving their proficiency in English. The Summer Intensive English Program offers credit courses for beginner, intermediate and advanced speakers of English as a Second Language. Students receive formal instruction daily to improve their skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Additionally, instructors focus on grammar and pronunciation. Students also participate in required and optional after-class activities that include weekend trips, presentations, and tutoring sessions. The English for Academic Purposes Program offers credit courses each fall semester to exchange, undergraduate and graduate students who are required to or desirous of developing their academic proficiency in listening, speaking, reading and writing. These courses count as Art and Science electives in most undergraduate programs.