CSU, Chico News

CSU, Chico Offers Summer Programs for Various Student Groups That Face Barriers to Higher Education

Date: 07-19-2007

Joe Wills
Public Affairs

California State University, Chico has been host this summer to several groups of students looking to overcome obstacles to receive a college education. The following programs are some of the larger outreach programs hosted by the University during the summer.

One hundred ninety-five high school students from Butte and five other North State counties are currently participating in Upward Bound’s annual summer program. The students attend classes and take part in planned activities Monday through Friday on campus, staying in residence halls, then go home over the weekend. Students arrived on campus June 16 and will complete the program July 26. Among the highlights is a community service project, which again this year was a clean-up of Bidwell Park.

Students qualify to be in the program based on income and/or whether they are the first generation in their family to graduate from college. CSU, Chico’s 41-year-old Upward Bound program has three projects assisting students with academic and personal development and career exploration as they progress in school and prepare for a college education.

“The Upward Bound summer program is a great ‘kick start’ for college with students learning how to manage classes, job responsibilities, community service and residential life,” said David Ferguson, Upward Bound Program director.

CSU, Chico’s American Language and Culture Institute (ALCI) has welcomed 38 students from NIC International College in Tokyo, Japan, who are participating in the annual Summer Bridge Program on campus from June 20 to Aug. 3. The students have an intensive, six-week schedule of English language, culture and academic courses and activities. Many will study to meet the language requirement for admissions at CSU, Chico, Butte College or another institution. This is the 17th year CSU, Chico has hosted the Japanese students.

“We are happy to host our NIC friends, again,” said ALCI Director William Dantona. “The students love Chico; they enjoy experiencing student life, participating in an American university classroom, and learning from our excellent faculty.”

Ayano Masuda, coordinator for Student Placement Services, NIC International College, said, “Every year we look forward to the time when we get an opportunity to bring our students to Chico State. The faculty and staff provide an excellent learning experience and a cultural bridge to the American university. Since 1994, hundreds of our students have successfully participated in the program and continue to talk about their positive Chico experience.”

CSU, Chico’s Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) once again held its Summer Bridge for students entering as freshman in the fall. These 154 students lived on campus July 7-14 and went through orientation and registration as well as took classes and enjoyed activities designed to create connections between and among the students and staff.

The week-long program is mandatory for the students. Eligibility for EOP is determined through income and educational and economic disadvantages the family has faced.

“When the students come here, they come not really knowing what to expect,” said Miguel Sahagun, EOP admissions director. “By the end of the week, they’ve connected, they belong, and they have a place to go if they have concerns. They come back in the fall with confidence.”

Also last week, CSU, Chico hosted 40 East Bay students as part of the College Summit program. This national program assists low-income students who have not previously considered college as an option. CSU, Chico first hosted students in the College Summit program last year, and is the only CSU campus to partner with College Summit, which has served more than 10,000 students since its founding in 1993.

Oscar Haro, director of the Business Resource Center, one of the campus groups coordinating the College Summit visit, said the students met with counselors, learned about financial aid, worked on writing skills and received strong encouragement furthering their education. “By the third day they were on campus, you could see in the students’ eyes that they ‘got it’ – they understood the opportunity ahead of them,” he said.

Schools represented were Leadership Preparatory High School and Mandela High School in Oakland, and students from College Track, a program that serves students from throughout the East Bay Area.