University of Connecticut

Building Bridges FAQs – Incoming Students

Q: What are Peer Partners and Ambassadors?

A: Peer Partners is the term used to describe Incoming/First Year Students participating in the Building Bridges program. The term Ambassadors is used to describe returning student participants.

Q: Why should I participate in Building Bridges?

A: Building Bridges offers new students the opportunity to meet other students at the School of Social Work, to establish a network of friends, and to receive support and advice on the transition to graduate school. Building Bridges allows participants to quickly become part of the School of Social Work community, to ask questions regarding academic and administrative aspects of the School, and gain exposure to different perspectives and experiences.

Annette Viall Testimonial

Q: Who can participate in Building Bridges?

A: To participate in the program students must be matriculated full-time or part-time, agree to a one-year commitment to the program, attend program events as required and be willing to create a sustaining and supportive relationship with each other.

Q: What sort of time commitment is required for Building Bridges?

A: It is extremely flexible! While there are a few required events throughout the year for all Building Bridges participants (see below), the time Ambassadors and Peer Partners meet with each other is based entirely on your schedule and needs. You can utilize your Ambassador as much or as little as you feel necessary.

Q: What sort of events will I need to attend?

A: There are three main events that all Building Bridges participants are asked to attend:

  • Building Bridges Meet & Greet – June 12th, 6:00-7:30
    • Over the summer, all Building Bridges participants are required to attend a welcome reception which goes over the expectations for the program, and allows all of the participants to get to know one another;
    • Building Bridges Fall Social – Date TBD;
    • Building Bridges Spring Social – Date TBD

NOTE: Ambassadors are required to attend additional events; please see the Ambassador Program FAQ for more information.

Q: Are there any assignments associated with Building Bridges?

A: No! Building Bridges is not a class, but an opportunity to develop relationships with students who are familiar with the UConn School of Social Work. Periodically throughout the year participants will be asked to fill out surveys, so we can assess the success of the program and find ways to improve, but no actual assignments are required.

Q: How are Building Bridges Partners assigned?

A: Students in the Building Bridges program can indicate their partner preference based on one or more criteria: their Method Concentration, ethnicity, gender, and students with children. Other specific pairing criteria can be requested.

Q: How do Ambassadors and Peer Partners communicate?

A: We have found that each Ambassador and Peer Partner find the method that works best for them; some of the most common ways are:

  • In person meetings
  • Via email
  • Phone conversations

Q: What if I do not get along with my Ambassador?>

A: If for some reason a match between a Peer Partner and an Ambassador is not meeting the student’s needs, the Director of Student Services can intervene and facilitate the process for a new match.

Q: If I decide to participate once the semester has started, can I still join?

A: Unfortunately, because of the timeline for matching students and other events, we can only accept Peer Partners into the Building Bridges program during the spring application process.

Q: How do I apply?

A: Simply follow the link below to the application:

Q: How will I know if I have been accepted?

A: You will receive an email regarding your application, as well as any additional information you need to know to move forward in the process.

Q: How long does it take to be matched?

A: All Peer Partners should be matched with their Ambassador by late May.

Q: How do I make initial contact with my Ambassador?

A: Your Ambassador will get in touch with you prior to the Building Bridges Meet & Greet held in Mid-June.
If you do not hear from them before the Meet & Greet, please contact Student Services at 860-570-9137.

Your question not answered here? For more information, please contact:

Joanne Donati