student life


ARCHES: “an opening or support as in a bridge or a doorway”; “a pathway”

Arches are also prominent architectural elements on our campus; they’re part of our unique history. We have designed a First-year Program that offers incoming students a pathway — or archway — into our campus community by providing a common experience, while allowing each student to explore her individual story and develop her own legacy within Sweet Briar’s history.

ARCHES combines the theme of sense of self, place and space while emphasizing elements integral to success at Sweet Briar College.

  • Every new student will register for an ARCHES class during the fall and spring semester of her first year at Sweet Briar.

  • The class will meet weekly for 50 minutes and introduce students to a wide variety of resources on campus, as well as assist them with their academic transition from high school to the college classroom.

  • Students will read “The Story of Sweet Briar College” along with supplemental readings that explore the history of the College.

  • Students will also participate in reflective activities and complete projects that allow them to explore their own history and identity, and develop goals for their future.

Each new student begins her journey with ARCHES by completing her ePortfolio essay, along with exploring aspects of her heritage and family history that influenced her decision to attend Sweet Briar. All new students will learn about ARCHES during orientation.

If you have questions in the meantime, please contact Co-curricular Life at (434) 381-6134 or the Associate Dean of Academic Services at (434) 381-6205.