The Fullbridge Program, an intensive two-week course that teaches students basic accounting concepts and practical business skills, will not be taught at Bowdoin this January. The program has been offered on campus over winter break since 2013. In the past two years, around 35 students have enrolled.

President Barry Mills said that Bowdoin will not be hosting Fullbridge on campus this year in part  because the College will offer a  new financial accounting course for the first time this spring. The course  is a partnership between Bowdoin and the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, aimed at teaching students the “language of finance.” Although Mills noted that Fullbridge is more vocationally driven than the Tuck financial accounting course will be, he expressed some concern over overlapping material between the two programs.

“There’s a question about how much energy, how much support, if a lot of students signed up for this course, would they not be interested in doing Fullbridge,” said Mills. “It was just too complicated to start thinking about them in tandem.”

 “It occurred to me as we were thinking about resource and opportunity that the idea of trying to incorporate some of what was being taught at the Fullbridge Program in our real curriculum, where it was available to all students while they’re on campus rather than just in January, made a lot of sense,” he added.

Mills said that just because the Fullbridge Program is not being offered at Bowdoin this year does not mean it will never return.

“If we bring it back, one of the things we talked about is bring[ing] it back in the spring, after school is over,” he said.

Though Fullbridge will not teach a class on campus this January, the company is running two Business Fundamentals programs over Winter Break—one in Boston and one in New York City—that are open to Bowdoin students, as well as students from other colleges and universities. Mills noted that around nine Bowdoin students have applied to the Boston program so far. Fullbridge will host an information session at the College in the upcoming weeks to encourage interested students to apply before the December 3 deadline.

In the last two years, students have criticized the Fullbridge Program for its unengaging instruction methods. The program uses a computer-based approach, where students watch videos, read PDFs and take quizzes or complete exercises on the material rather than learning it directly from a teacher.

Students who completed the Fullbridge Program at Bowdoin had mixed opinions about it not being offered on campus this year.

“I definitely liked [it being offered] on campus because it sort of gave you the chance to be at Bowdoin without the rush of classes,” said Junior Tomas Donatelli Pitfield, who took the course last January. “I think it would be a really different experience if you were in Boston. I think it’d still be valuable, but I think it would be more like an internship if it were in Boston rather than a different class that you’re taking at Bowdoin.”

Franco Sasieta ’16 said that being able to live in his dorm room while attending the program was a big draw for him. Though he thought the program was valuable, especially for people with little to no background in economics like himself, he did not find it so helpful that students should travel to Boston just to participate.

“If you were living in Boston, then I’d recommend [taking the Fullbridge Program],” Sasieta said. “If you are not living in Boston­— say California, or any other place that’s more than 30 minutes away—I would try to look for opportunities that are near you.”

However, Sasieta stressed that he thinks it is important for Bowdoin students to have the chance to gain financial literacy—whether through Fullbridge or the College’s new collaborative course with a Tuck professor.

Donatelli Pitfield agreed, but noted that there are more venues than Fullbridge and Tuck where students can acquire these skills.

“I think the College provides a lot of different internship opportunities and stuff through the Career Planning Center, so I don’t think [Fullbridge] is something that Bowdoin is going to be missing out on,” he said.