CSU, Chico News

Summer Programs Reach Out to Students Who Face Barriers to Higher Education

Date: 06-09-2008

Joe Wills
Public Affairs

As in past summers, California State University, Chico will host several groups of students looking to overcome obstacles to receiving a college education.

This Friday, June 13, 160 high school students from Sutter, Yuba, Glenn, Tehama, Colusa and Butte counties as well as four Hawaiian students will come to campus for a summer session sponsored by CSU, Chico’s Upward Bound program.

The students will attend classes and take part in planned activities Monday through Friday on campus, staying in the Mechoopda and Esken residence halls on campus before going home on the weekends. The students will also receive mentoring from faculty members on math and science projects this year. Before leaving June 24, the students will do the annual community service project, which again this year will be 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 42-year-old Upward Bound program has three projects assisting students with academic and personal development and career exploration as they progress in school and point toward a college education.

“We are giving a glimpse of what college life is like for students and their parents,” said Maria Moreno, assistant director of CSU, Chico’s Upward Bound program. “Most of them haven’t had the opportunities others have had to learn about college.”

Later this month, CSU, Chico’s American Language and Culture Institute (ALCI) is welcoming 30 Nevada-California International Consortium students from Tokyo, Japan, who will participate in this year’s ALCI Summer Bridge Program on campus.

The five-week ALCI Summer Bridge Program runs June 25 through Aug. 8 and features a combination of credit-bearing coursework, intensive English language coursework, academic preparation and cultural immersion.

Along with the classwork, students will get to travel in the North State, go to a Chico Outlaws game and experience other aspects of local and California culture. All of the students who are attending the ALCI Summer Bridge are preparing for admission to CSU, Chico, Butte College or Shasta College.

“Now in its 15th year, the Summer Bridge Program is ALCI’s marquee special program,” said William Dantona, ALCI director. “We are pleased to welcome our new international students to our beautiful campus and assist them in their academic preparation.”

Established in 1979, ALCI offers intensive English language programs for international students and professionals.

Next month, CSU, Chico’s Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) Summer Bridge Program will host 150 first-time freshmen to be housed in Lassen Hall. The week-long program beginning July 12 is geared to help low-income, first- generation college students make a smooth transition from high school to college.

Students will work closely with University faculty and staff, who will act as mentors, meeting with them in small groups to discuss workshop topics that will be presented throughout the week. Workshops are designed to help students enhance their decision-making skills, develop confidence, feel at home at CSU, Chico, utilize University resources and learn strategies to ensure success during their first year of college.

This summer, a large percentage of students’ time will be spent participating in a series of English workshops. English instructors and teaching assistants will focus on reading difficulties, helping students to develop their abilities to find, select, read and respond to published work on topics that are often covered at the college level. The goal is to enhance students’ reading abilities to help with writing assignments in the classroom and develop the students’ skills and confidence they’ll need to have success at CSU, Chico.

“Students will leave the Summer Bridge Program feeling a sense of family among their fellow students and the University professional staff,” said Chris Malone, associated director of EOP, which was started in 1968. “When they arrive back at Chico on Aug. 21 for orientation, they will not feel like strangers because they will have lots of friends to begin their new adventure as college freshmen.”