Bridge Program

Excited about college? Want to start in a positive way? The Bridge Program will help.

Summer 2015 Bridge Program dates: TBD

The Bridge Program, held in late August, is an early move-in and expanded orientation program for American Indian freshmen students at Black Hills State University. The Bridge Program helps students transition from high school to college by addressing academic, professional, cultural and social issues that first-time Native college students may face.

By attending the Bridge Program, students will become used to campus life at BHSU, gain access to student services and campus resources and learn effective academic skills. Students will build a sense of community and develop an early network of peers by moving into their campus residence halls a week before the general student body. Bridge Program participants will meet BHSU faculty, staff and upperclassmen student mentors.

The six-day Bridge Program is free and limited to the first 30 incoming BHSU freshmen who apply (see the application link below). The Bridge Program includes college preparation workshops, cultural mapping sessions, social events and student life activities. Students may earn one college credit for participating in the Bridge Program.

Bridge Program college preparation workshops may include: 

  • Lunch with BHSU President Tom Jackson, Jr.
  • Academic success & advising tips
  • Cultural mapping
  • Residence hall "survival skills"
  • Student loan counseling & financial aid advice

Student life activities may include:

  • Movie night
  • Black light bowling
  • Explore and hike in Spearfish Canyon
  • Spearfish Recreation Center & water park
  • Field trip to Harney Peak 




Spring Semester Bridge Program
There is a one-day Bridge Program for American Indian students who begin during the spring semester at BHSU. The spring semester Bridge Program takes place the day before regular spring classes start. American Indian students of any academic level (freshman, transfer student, returning student) are encouraged to participate in the spring Bridge Program. Please call the Center for American Indian Studies at 605-642-6578 for more information.

Freshman American Indian students share how the Bridge Program has helped them integrate into college life.

Students and mentors share their experience of the American Indian Studies Bridge Program.