For Haylee Brooks ’17 of Citrus Heights, Calif., attending Summer Bridge at the University of Redlands helped her realize that she had made the right choice for college.
“The moment I stepped onto the Redlands campus, I immediately felt welcomed by everybody,” she said. “My experience at Summer Bridge was truly a blessing. I met so many great people, both faculty and peers.”
The program, which began in 2004, is open to first generation students by invitation only. During two different sessions in July, the incoming freshmen spent almost a week living on campus, attending classes, and taking part in social events.
“This brings students to campus and gives them a fairly intensive overview of what college life is like,” Leela MadhavaRau, associate dean for Campus Diversity and Inclusion, said. “Feedback from students who have gone through the Summer Bridge has been extremely positive.”
According to MadhavaRau, students who go through Summer Bridge are retained and graduate at higher levels than expected.
“We want to make sure we are making this the best possible program,” she said.
Classes that students attended included sessions on math, biology, psychology, English, and history. Participants also took campus tours and learned about Career Services, Community Service Learning, Academic Success, Study Abroad and other programs.
“The schedule for Summer Bridge is very exciting,” Claudia Martinez, first generation student programs coordinator, said. “It’s like the academic year, with classes in the morning and social events in the evening.”
Current students serving as peer mentors were available to talk with participants and answer any questions. After going through Summer Bridge, Fernando Hudson ’17 of Palm Desert decided he also wanted to become involved in the future.
“You’re like a family after the program,” he said. “That’s the best part. You meet people, interact, and get to know the school. I want to be a mentor next year.”
Posted: August 7, 2013