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Skidmore College
Center for Leadership, Teaching and Learning (CLTL)

The Bridge Experience

The Bridge Experience (BE) is a general education requirement that encourages Skidmore students to understand how power and justice have shaped the experiences of people with a variety of identities in the United States and how these people have responded to the reality of inequality in their lives.

Learning Components

Each BE course will:

  1. Include two critical elements:
    1. A Content/Theory/Reflection component that explores how unequal distributions of power affect different individuals, groups, and communities in contemporary America. This component of each BE course should be at least 1 credit.
    2. A Practice/Application component that encourages students to reflect upon their own positions in their respective communities and on campus and connect their study of power, justice, and identity to other areas of their education and to the world beyond the classroom. Practice/Application projects not only require students to demonstrate a critical understanding of power, justice, and identity, but also learn how to communicate and share their insights with a broader audience. This component of each BE course should be at least 1 credit.
  2. Be at the 200- or 300-level.
    1. They may have prerequisites per the discretion of the instructor and department and they may count as courses for the major.
    2. Travel Seminars and other off campus classes are potentially eligible for BE designation as long as they are organized and led by a Skidmore instructor and meet the other BE requirements.
    3. Ideally, students will take these courses no earlier than the first semester of their sophomore year and before the first semester of their senior year.
  3. Be capped at 18 students
  4. Encourage students to consider power, justice, and identity in the contemporary United States. They do not, however, have to focus solely on the modern America experience. Courses could, for example, explore the creation, expression, and maintenance of American power, justice, and diversity in a global or comparative context or link the experience of peoples from different times and places to the contemporary American story.

Potential Practice/Application Projects

Faculty teaching BE courses may fulfill the Practice/Application element of the course in a variety of ways. Some of these possibilities may include (but are not limited to)

Events and Performances

  • Designing and hosting a symposium
  • Organizing mock trials and debates
  • Poster sessions for campus and general audiences
  • Moderated conversations
  • Producing dances with a reflective “talk back” component
  • Working with the Tang on student exhibits
  • Planning and hosting small conferences
  • Creating campus interactive events

Civic Engagement Work

  • Crafting letters to editors or newspaper opinion pieces
  • Working with stakeholders on community projects
  • Researching problems and solutions for government agencies
  • Service learning both on and off campus
  • Planning and executing citizen science projects
  • Interactive educational programs for teens

Making and Creating

  • Designing blogs and websites
  • Composing short stories and other creative writings
  • Crafting board games
  • Making and sharing podcasts
  • Writing short stories other fiction
  • Researching and making clothing
  • Producing short documentaries and films
  • Authoring comic strips or graphic novels
  • Writing and performing songs
  • Designing photo essays