The Volunteer Bridge Living & Learning Community is an invitation-only community that is part of a unique program designed to give a selected group of promising prospective UT students a seamless transition from their freshman year at Pellissippi State Community College to their sophomore year at UT. Only incoming freshmen are eligible to participate in this program. Participants will receive a personal invitation from the UT Office of Undergraduate Admissions.
The Bridge community is designed to serve as a bridge for students between UT and PSCC and connect the learning opportunities at both campuses with student life at UT, creating a network to support a successful transition. All Bridge students take certain courses together to foster engagement and the sense of community that is crucial for a successful first-year experience. The program includes many support services for Bridge students, including an academic coach dedicated specifically to the program, targeted advising and student support at both institutions, and engagement in UT student life as part of a Living & Learning Community.
As a result of successful participation in the program, students will:
- engage in a body of course work to make progress towards their intended UT major and build a strong foundation for future learning;
- develop the academic skills and success strategies necessary for a successful college experience, including study skills, time management, goal-setting, motivation, and more;
- demonstrate increased self-knowledge and develop a strong identity as a UT student;
- develop skills for networking with organizations, peers, faculty, and staff; and
- seek opportunities for leadership and personal and academic growth.
All Volunteer Bridge students are strongly encouraged to live on campus in the Bridge LLC. Students are encouraged to apply to the Volunteer Bridge LLC as soon as possible, as space is limited and on a first-come, first-served basis.
Students who begin the program in the summer will complete 4-8 hours of coursework at UT before transitioning to fall and spring courses at PSCC. Students who begin the program in the fall semester will take all classes at PSCC while in the program. Upon successful completion of the program, students will transition back to UT for their sophomore year coursework and beyond.. More in-depth information about program requirements can be found on the Volunteer Bridge Program website.
Volunteer Bridge students are eligible to participate in all aspects of UT student life except:
- Volunteer Bridge students cannot pledge a social fraternity or sorority in their first year. They are eligible, however, to pledge a service fraternity or sorority.
- Volunteer Bridge students cannot be members of an official NCAA UT athletics team, including cheer and dance squads, or the Pride of the Southland Marching Band in their first year.
- Some sport clubs may have restrictions on Volunteer Bridge student participation in the first year (e.g., Volunteer Bridge students can practice but not compete with the Ice Hockey Club in their first year).
- Volunteer Bridge students cannot train be to Resident Assistants or Ignite Team Leaders in their first year.
Please note that these restrictions are based on the rules of independent governing bodies concerning the number of hours students must be enrolled in at the University to participate; they are not UT policies. Bridge students who successfully complete their first year in the program and secure their degree-seeking admission to UT for their sophomore year and beyond are eligible to participate in all of the above activities after the first year. All other UT student services and activities are open to Bridge students in the first year. During their first year, Bridge students are also eligible to participate in student life and activities at Pellissippi State Community College.
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