Applications are due February 28, 2020 for admission to the program for the next Fall Semester.
You may submit most of the application on line beginning now. The application forms can be accessed below. If you have questions the website doesn't answer, please contact Director Cathy Shrady.
Adirondack Semester Application Process
Participation in the Adirondack Semester is a privilege, and admission to the program is competitive. The Adirondack Semester is similar to an SLU off-campus study abroad program, but unique in many ways. For three months, students live off-campus in a remote setting of the Adirondack Park. Because of its location, students have the opportunity to immerse themselves directly and completely in the natural world, without the many distractions of campus. The setting is rustic, giving students an opportunity to live a materially simple life that precludes cell phones, computers, and running water. The campus consists of canvas structures called yurts, a small timber-framed kitchen, a composting toilet, and a wood-fired sauna. Twelve students live together as a close-knit community supervised by two on-site Assistant Directors and the Director. Students take four courses and a 0.5 Modern Outdoor Recreation Ethics course. The academic focus of the program is complemented by wood working classes and an emphasis on building a community fostered through intensive group contact, community facilitation instruction, and shared group tasks. Throughout the semester, students participate in a variety of outdoor pursuits. These include a week-long canoe expedition, five day hiking trip and activities such as rock climbing and white water rafting.
Admissions Policies and Process:
The application process consists of submission of the application materials and an interview the week following spring break with the selection committee. Most of the materials may be submitted electronically, but please note where the paper hard copies are requested. Applications will be judged according to the following criteria: the overall academic record and interests of the candidate, the quality of the essays in the application, the strength of recommendations, and the level of maturity, responsibility, commitment to creating a supportive community and genuine interest the candidate brings to this particular program. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance status via email. The twelve applicants selected to attend the semester will be sent an Acceptance Packet via intercampus mail.
Students who are not on disciplinary, social or academic probation are eligible to apply for the Adirondack Semester program. Preference will be given to students who currently hold a grade point average of 2.8 or higher and who are matriculated St. Lawrence University students. In addition, students must be physically capable of participating in the compulsory components of semester programming, which include, but are not limited to, living in a remote outdoor setting affected by shifting environmental conditions that is more than one hour from definitive medical care. Students must be able to hike and/or walk for at least an hour, learn to canoe for at least 20 minutes, and lift up to 40 pounds. Students must also be capable of and committed to working as part of a team, contributing to a safe learning environment for their peers, and participating in the daily chores and tasks required to maintain that community. Admission will be denied to anyone we believe to be unable to meet the physical, emotional, social, or safety demands of our program.
Upon acceptance to the program, students will be asked to complete the free training provided by St. Lawrence University to become a Certified University Driver, and encouraged to attend a Wilderness First Aid course sponsored by a recognized provider, (e.g. Wilderness Medical Associates, Wilderness Medicine Institutes, Solo).