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CSU, Chico News

Summer Bridge Program Eases Freshman Transition for First-Generation College Students

Date: 07-03-2013

Sarah Langford
Public Affairs
Chris Malone, Director
Summer Bridge

A weeklong program aimed at helping first-generation college students transition to university life begins Saturday, July 6, at California State University, Chico.

The Summer Bridge program will host 151 incoming freshmen from around the state for a week of workshops, training classes and orientations designed to ease their transition from high school to college. The summer program is a facet of the campus’s Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), a comprehensive program that guides students from low-income and academically disadvantaged families through the college experience, from enrollment to graduation.

While at Summer Bridge, the incoming freshmen meet with mentors, attend university lectures and participate in a variety of workshops and presentations. They finalize housing plans, complete financial aid applications and register for fall courses. Students live and dine on campus for the week to get a taste of campus life.

Summer Bridge also provides an opportunity for EOP participants to meet one another and the faculty and staff who will be assisting them in the fall. The sense of belonging that students develop through the summer program lays a foundation for success when they return in the fall, said Summer Bridge director Chris Malone.

“Besides developing important academic and life skills, at the end of the week, students feel a sense of family,” he said. “They also learn to see their professors and staff as human beings instead of authority figures, which makes them more accessible throughout their college experience.”

EOP was established by the state in 1969 to improve the access and retention of low-income and first-generation college students at CSU, Chico and throughout the CSU system. EOP applicants must have the motivation to succeed and have the potential to perform satisfactorily in college but may not have been previously able to realize their potential because of their economic or educational background.

A freshman class of 230 has been admitted to CSU, Chico’s fall 2013 program.

Check-in for Summer Bridge begins at 1 p.m. on July 6. Workshops, presentations and programming are scheduled daily from 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. The program ends at noon on Friday, July 12.

For more information, visit www.csuchico.edu/eop.