Student Testing, Advisement, Registration and Transition


All students must attend a START session at the Dryden main campus prior to beginning their first semester, unless they are fully online students.  At Orientation students discuss their degree program and first semester course schedule individually with an academic advisor, learn how to use their their myTC3 account, gain important information about the College and available resources (including financial aid, billing, and housing information - if applicable), and take a campus tour (if desired).

START is a four hour program; morning, afternoon, evening, and Saturday sessions are available. You will receive an email to schedule your START session and you must sign up at least one week before.

Attending START is a key step in the new student enrollment process at Tompkins   Cortland. All new, transfer, and reinstated students (those who are returning to Tompkins Cortland after more than one semester away) are required to attend START. Prior to attending START, students must:

  • Take placement tests (if needed)
  • Complete the Pre-Advising Questionnaire

For those students who need placement testing, we offer several flexible options to complete your tests:

Test at one of Tompkins Cortland’s three locations (Dryden, Cortland, or Ithaca)

Test at the SUNY Welcome Center in New York City (testing dates will be available April-August 2018)

Test offsite using an approved proctor

See the Placement Testing Information page for details and information about how to prepare for your tests. Placement testing takes two to three hours for most students, so please plan ahead, being sure to account for travel time to your testing site.

Students should prepare for Placement Testing in advance by reviewing sample questions so they understand what to expect on the tests. Students should also begin to review the requirements of their chosen degree program in the College Catalog.

Students who are completing a fully online degree program at the College will work with an advisor from our office to complete Orientation without coming to campus, usually via phone. Email to request an exception from the required on-campus START session.

Accepted students who submitted transcripts from prior colleges and proof of high school graduation or receipt of a TASC/GED, taken placement tests (if needed), and completed the Pre-Advising Questionnaire are eligible to schedule START. Each student receives an email when they are ready to schedule START. START sessions are held as indicated below, and it is best to attend START as early as possible for your intended semester of enrollment.

For accepted students who plan to begin in the Fall Semester:

  • Placement Testing is from February-August
  • START sessions are held April-August

For accepted students who plan to begin in the Spring Semester:

  • Placement Testing is from October-January
  • START sessions are held November-January

For accepted students who plan to begin in the Summer:

  • Placement Testing is from October-January and February-May
  • START sessions are held November-January and April-May

Students should not wait until they have tested or come to START to begin the financial aid process. The earlier that students complete their FAFSA and TAP, the sooner they can follow up on any additional information that is required to complete their financial aid package. Review the steps on the admissions home page for more information about how to enroll.

Once you have attended START, it is very important that you regularly check your myTC3 account, including myMAIL for important email updates and myINFO to review financial aid and billing updates. Please make sure you are ready for the start of the semester and plan to attend Welcome Week events.