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Summer Bridge Concludes with HS Grads Now Prepared for College

Summer Bridge students with their certificates of completion
By Robert Bledsoe

August 07, 2019 - 09:52 AM

Not every high school graduate is automatically ready for college, but Mt. SAC’s Summer Bridge program has proven that in six weeks, anyone with a diploma can be made ready for the academic challenges of higher education. This summer’s Bridge students just completed their courses and are now prepared for their freshman year at Mt. SAC.

“Six weeks ago, I didn’t know what to do with my life,” explained Mt. SAC freshman and Summer Bridge alumni Adriana Alejo-Trujillo. “Now, I’m pretty confidant and I’m telling all my friends. It was a great experience.” Summer Bridge stuidents

The program is able to make such a dramatic improvement in a student’s academic focus by building a learning community. They develop friends in the same situation as they are and experience their freshman year together, giving each other support along their educational journey. The communities also contain counselors and instructors who are now familiar with each student’s needs and goals, and can provide further support. 

“Our program is making a difference in not only these students’ lives, but their families’ lives as well,” said Anabel Perez, Counselor Coordinator of the Bridge Program. “Many of these students are the first generation of their families to ever go to college. Anyone who has been through high school can go to Summer Bridge and get a sense of what being a college student is like, and they will gain some motivation to get that college degree.” 

Summer Bridge student with their certificateThe only requirements to join Summer Bridge are to have a high school diploma or equivalent and to have filed an application to go to Mt. SAC. Students earn five to six units, taking three classes. All students must take Career Planning and Learning Community. They also take another general education course, depending on their interests, such as Literature, Political Science, Public Speaking or Sociology. 

The program began under another name, more than two decades ago in 1998, with the goal of serving those who wanted to go to college but had socio-economic or academic issues that led them to believe they were not “college material”. These students were given the support and the tools needed to overcome these challenges and prepare them for a higher education. A great many Bridge alumni how hold associate, bachelors, and/or masters degrees, and even Ph.D.’s.  

Mt. SAC also operates a Bridge program in the fall and spring semesters, as well as a STEP Into College summer transition enrichment program. STEP is a shorter, two week program that earns students 1 unit of college credit and teaches strategies to be suSummer Bridge team leader gives speechccessful in college, with workshops held before and after the class.

For more information on the Bridge programs, please visit www.mtsac.edu/bridge/