Jul 23, 2024  
2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog 
2016-2017 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.



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 account is required to use many of the services on campus including e-mail, the residence hall network (ResNet), the wireless network, the computer labs, myOswego, Blackboard and more. Online activation is available from the “Account Activation Link” at  www.oswego.edu/email.

Electronic mail (e-mail) is an official mechanism of communication at SUNY Oswego. Students, faculty, and staff have the responsibility to use e-mail in an efficient, effective, respectful, ethical and lawful manner. Individuals 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 wired and wireless connections. Students living on campus may connect their personal computer to access the campus network as well as the Internet from their room. Almost the entire campus is wireless. Wireless areas on campus are intended to cover classrooms and public gathering spaces such as academic commons, dining halls, Penfield Library, and the Marano 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 800 computers in specialized departmental labs. There are general access computer labs for student use in Penfield Library (including the 24-hour room), Mahar Hall, and Marano 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, 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. Our Advanced Technology Classrooms (ATCs) include teaching podiums; computers, projection, document cameras, and CD/DVD players. Selected locations are equipped with Smart Technology, blu-ray players, wireless lapel mic’s, dual projection, and lecture capture service.

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




The COMPASS is a comprehensive center for student success designed to assist students in accomplishing four major goals: Discovering a vision for their lives; Developing their skills in and out of the classroom, Defining their future through experiential learning opportunities, and Distinguishing themselves as competitive graduates. 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 their job and/or graduate school search.

New Student Orientation



New students are introduced to SUNY Oswego through an orientation process designed to provide students with the support and information they require to transition successfully to college.

All new incoming students must participate in an orientation program, either over the summer or immediately prior to the Fall or Spring semesters. At orientation, students are introduced to campus and academic life, meet with an advisor, review and confirm course registration for the upcoming semester, and have the opportunity to take care of other details such as finalizing financial aid, pre-arranging the purchase of textbooks, signing up for fitness centers and getting their student ID card.

Prior to the start of the Fall semester, Welcome Week activities continue the orientation process for new first year and transfer students and include a campus-wide Welcome Picnic, educational events and social activities, all designed to further support the new student transition to Oswego.

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.

Undeclared Student Advisement


145 Marano Campus Center • 315-312-2240

Students who are exploring academic majors and related careers can choose to be “undeclared” for their first and second year at Oswego. The major is housed under the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. All undeclared students are assigned to a Faculty/Staff Advisor trained to support students in the major and career exploration process.

Undeclared first year students are expected to participate in at least one Compass major exploration program, workshop or class specifically designed to support students through the major exploration process. Sophomore undeclared students are encouraged to actively participate in advanced exploratory opportunities, including connecting with a career counselor, participating in a job shadow, completing the GST 103 course, community service, or internship to further support the decision-making process.

By choosing to be undeclared, students are expected to be actively engaged in their major and career exploration. There are numerous services and resources available to guide students through the process, which include:

  • Self-Assessments
  • Exploration Workshops
  • Individualized Career Counseling
  • Job Shadow/Informational Interviews
  • Undeclared Advisement
  • Online Resources and Tools
  • Courses - GST 103: Exploring your Strengths or GST 110: Life Planning and Major Exploration (first choice course available to undeclared first-year students only)

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. In addition, one of the requirements for SUNY Oswego’s ROI program requires a student to declare by the end of their third semester.

Transfer Student Services


145 Marano Campus Center • 315-312-3638

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



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:

  • GST 302 (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, reflection papers, and attendance at discussion sessions are required.
  • GST 302 (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.

Civic Engagement



Civic engagement is about building stronger interaction, dialog, communication, societal and economic benefit and mutual concern for the community, state, country, and the world. The Civic Engagement Coalition coordinates a variety of activities that help students gain and use the knowledge, skills, values, and motivations of engaged citizens who can make change through both political and non-political processes.

We do this by acquainting students through our website, blog, Laker Life, and social media with the many civic engagement activities going on in the college community. We also work with Student Association and other groups to plan panels, citizen forums, town halls, and other programs that help members of the Oswego campus community learn about issues and develop deliberative skills. We help bridge town-campus differences by providing opportunities to discuss issues, solve problems, and work on community initiatives with local residents and political officials. And, with Student Association and Residence Life and Housing, we encourage political involvement through voter registration drives and voter education.

The Civic Engagement Office works hand-in-hand with other Compass groups, including Experience Based Education, the Center for Service Learning and Community Services, and Career Services, as well as academic departments and other groups across campus such as the Office of Business and Community Relations. By engaging in civic activities, you will develop a better understanding of the many issues surrounding our world today. Get involved, enhance your quality of life and you will recognize yourself as an integral part of the change-making process.

Center for Experiential Learning


145 Marano Campus Center

The Center for Experiential Learning offers students an opportunity to earn academic credit for experiential learning in a variety of businesses, non-profit organizations, and community agencies. Students earn college credit, gain valuable experience outside of the classroom, and link academic content and theory to the real world. Experiential learning opportunities are available throughout New York State, at selected sites throughout the U.S., and in international locations such as London. Opportunities within the Center for Experiential Learning give students the opportunity to: (1) learn the knowledge, skills, and attitudes essential to be effective in the workplace, (2) put theory into practice, (3) gain transferable skills, (4) explore various career opportunities, (5) network with experts in the field, (6) build a resume and portfolio of successful professional experience for future employment, (7) learn about the world of work first-hand,  (8) grow professionally and personally. Students also value our project-based and service-learning courses with an emphasis on active, community-engaged learning. These credit-bearing courses help students understand the value of civic engagement in our democracy while exploring the many roles they can assume in college and later in life.  Our programs include:

  • Internship Program
  • Cooperative Education Program
  • Project-Based Learning
  • Professional Skills Preparatory
  • Leadership in Your Field
  • Mentor-Scholar Program
  • Oswego Children’s Project
  • RISE

For more information see Center for Experiential Learning under the OTHER ACADEMIC OPTIONS section of this catalog.

Career Services



Career Development starts first with helping students understand where they are in the process. Students might be in any one – or a combination of several – of the following steps:

  • Assessing interests, strengths, values and skills and connecting this information to vocational areas, major(s) and minor(s);
  • Exploring best-fit career fields related to a student’s interests or chosen degree program;
  • Gaining valuable experience and developing the skills the future will expect through internships, co-ops, volunteer positions or other opportunities;
  • Researching and competing for post-graduate experiences such as jobs, graduate school programs, gap year opportunities, and more.

Career Services recently moved into an “Industry-Centric” model of program and service delivery.  They have full-time professionals who have developed expertise in various industries and work hard to create and evolve customized resources, programs, services, and networking relationships in order to offer students a much higher level of personalized career coaching.  Regardless of where students are in their career development and the variety of paths students will consider, the Career Services office can help them to be successful for life.

Students can take control of their career development:  Stop in any time Monday-Friday 9am-4:30pm to the Compass Resource Center to learn more about the extensive resources or make an appointment with one of the Career Coaches.  The staff will work closely with students to develop effective strategies and a solid plan of action each step of the way!

Online Presence: Check out the extensive assortment of online tools. Career Services offers resources that will guide students through all aspects of the career development process. Additionally, the office will ensure a student’s online reputation is intact through the Linkedin Photo Booth and the popular “Digital Dirt Squad.”

Major programs and services include:

  • Self-assessment and skills identification
  • Major and career exploration
  • Connecting/Networking with career professionals
  • Job Search Documents
  • Portfolio development
  • Practice Interviewing
  • Job and graduate school search strategies
  • Reference letter management

Students can learn about the world of work as they interact with employers and graduate school representatives at career fairs, etiquette dinners, conferences, networking events, on-campus interviews, industry-specific luncheons, off-site employer visits, and more.

Environmental Research Center


403-405 Shineman Center
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 legacy and emerging contaminants, including congener-specific polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), organochlorine pesticides (OCs), dioxins/furans/coplanar PCBs, and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) 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: Waters AutoSpec Premier Gas Chromatograph-High Resolution Mass Spectrometer - with Agilent 7890GC, MMI and 7693 Autosampler, 2 Agilent 7890 GC/ECD with SS/PTV and 7683 Autosampler, 2 Agilent 7890B/5977A EI/CI MSD with MMI/SS and 7693 Autosampler, Agilent 7890/5975C Inert XL EI/CI MSD with SS/MMI and 7693 Autosampler, 2 Waters HPLC-GPC Breeze preparation systems, FMS PowerPrep and PowerVap Automated Sample Cleanup, Dionex Accelerated Solvent Extractor (ASE) 150, and 2 Biotage TurboVap II Workstations.

Studies conducted at the ERC have included: USEPA Great Lakes Fish Monitoring and Surveillance Program, USEPA/Wisconsin’s Assessment of Healthy Consumption of Great Lakes Fish, Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe - Lake Sturgeon Restoration Project, Xenobiotics in Fish from New York’s Great Lakes International Waters, Ambient Levels of Persistent and Emerging Air Toxics in Acadia National Park, wildlife contaminant studies, development of analytical methods for the determination/separation of congener-specific PCBs/PCTs/OC pesticides/PBDEs/dioxins/furans in sediments, biota and water. Research funding is provided through collaborative grants from USEPA, Great Lakes National Program Office, Great Lakes Commission, National Science Foundation, ATSDR, National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences, NYS Great Lakes  Protection Fund, Great Lakes Research Consortium, Novelis Corporation, 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


34 E. Bridge St., Oswego, NY 13126

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

Office of Learning Services (OLS)


171 Marano 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 online.
The Office of Learning Services also administers the Educational Opportunity Program 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.

Penfield Library



Penfield Library, located in the heart of campus, is a technology-rich learning center providing the SUNY Oswego community with information resources, user-centered services and engaging spaces. The Library houses a physical collection of over 400,000 books, CDs, videos, and other resources, and provides online access to over 60,000 e-journals and 86,000 e-books.  Over 150 computer workstations are available throughout the library, including 22 workstations in our 24-hour study room and 30 laptops that can be checked out for in-library use. Convenient printing services are available from all computers.

The four-story, Wi-Fi equipped building has seating for over one thousand students including individual and group study areas, individual study carrels, a quiet study floor, and technology-enhanced spaces for collaborative work and presentation practice. The Library’s Lake Effect Cafe is a popular campus eatery with a wide range of menu options and comfortable seating.

The Library brings together many services to support student learning, including the Ask A Librarian research help desk, technology assistance from Campus Technology Services, and writing tutoring from the Office of Learning Services. SUNY Oswego librarians are available during most of the library’s open hours, answering questions in person, by telephone, chat, text message and email. Librarian help is also available through our collaborative 24/7 online chat service and via our online tutorials. Subject specialist librarians provide an orientation to library research and information sources in many courses and also offer personal research appointments.

Penfield Library provides access to materials in other libraries through its interlibrary loan service, featuring a special, high-speed statewide delivery system. 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 Rice Creek Station to be a living laboratory for the advancement of knowledge through ecological research, education, and stewardship of the natural world. To accomplish this mission, the station has a newly constructed central building, which contains two state-of–the-art laboratories, a lecture/seminar room and a small museum area housing collections of plants, vertebrates and invertebrates, and a small reception area for visitors. 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 faculty and 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 aged 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.

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 Box Office
tickets@oswego.edu(online sales)

Waterman Theatre is located in Tyler Hall, the Fine and Performing Arts building. After a two-year renovation, the Theatre reopens in Fall ‘16 as a 410 seat theatre, fitted with hearing loops for assisted hearing and ADA elevator access. The theatre space includes state of the art support facilities and is equipped with counter weighted fly lines, electronic dimmers, stage traps, elevated orchestra pit, a complete intercommunications and sound systems. Support areas include well-equipped scene and costume shops, a lighting and electronic experimentation room, spray booth, 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, ALANA, Gospel Choir and will host the 2016 Dr. Lewis B. O’Donnell Media Summit.

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.