CSU, Chico News

Summer Bridge Program Welcomes First-Generation College Students

Date: 06-16-2014

Sarah Langford
Public Affairs
Chris Malone, Associate Director
Educational Opportunity Program

More than 200 first-generation college students will live and study at California State University, Chico starting Saturday, June 21, as part of the Summer Bridge program.

The 12-day program is a facet of the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), which provides academic and logistical support to first-generation students from low-income or underserved families. Students live on campus in Sutter or Whitney residence halls and attend intensive classes in English and math.

This year, the program includes 50 students from the Chico Student Success Center who plan to major in a science, math or engineering-related field.

Throughout the program, the incoming freshmen meet with mentors, attend university lectures and participate in a variety of workshops and presentations. They also finalize housing plans, complete financial aid applications and register for fall courses.

“All of our students are first-generation college students, so they’re somewhat ignorant of the amount of time and dedication it takes to be successful at a four-year university. We’re trying to expose them to the time and effort it’s going to take,” said Chris Malone, Summer Bridge director. “We also want them to feel at home as quickly as possible. It can feel like a foreign place when they come here, so when they start to recognize faculty whom they know, it makes it that much easier.”

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.

EOP will welcome 217 first-year students in the fall.

Check-in for Summer Bridge begins at 1 p.m. on June 21. Workshops, presentations and programming are scheduled daily from 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. The program ends at noon on Wednesday, July 2.

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