Summer Bridge program links incoming freshmen to successby on Jul 6, 2018
Ready for college!
Students graduating from area high schools enrolled in Summer Bridge, a six-week transition program to prepare them for their fall studies at Gavilan College.
Open to 30 students district-wide, students said they were happy to spend six weeks of their summer to get a jump start on college units and learn the ropes. They discovered the program through their high school counselors, plus Gavilan held summer bridge information fairs at each high school campus.
Investing six weeks pays off
"I like the summer bridge program to get to know the campus," said Jennifer Bautista. "It's a chance to learn the online tools, good prep as an incoming freshman, to discover what the professors want you to know."
Bautista, a recent Gilroy High School graduate, wants to be a nurse (RN). She is looking at the Gavilan Allied Health program. She also has plans to pursue both a BS and MS in nursing.
"As the first in my family to go to college, I wanted to improve my career path," she said. "My parents told me to take this opportunity, attend community college, get a better start."
(L-r) Suzuki Jimenez, Jennifer Bautista and Yerid Diaz work together studying
for an upcoming test in Small Group Communications.
"This program helps prepare you more, compared to going straight into university," said Yerid Diaz. "Plus, at community colleges, counselors check on you, inform you of internships and scholarship opportunities."
Diaz, also a recent Gilroy High School graduate, wants to study business. She plans to transfer to UC Davis after completing her work at Gavilan.
The Summer Bridge program recruits first-generation, college-bound, low-income students who plan to work toward AA/AS degrees at Gavilan and transfer to four year colleges and universities. Monday through Thursday, for six weeks, they spend their time taking Life Skills Higher Ed in the mornings and Small Group Communications in the afternoon.
The morning class assists students with identifying personal values, personality, interests, exploration of career choice, and occupational opportunities.
Study groups essential to understanding
"The text is challenging," said Veronica Andrade, instructor for the communications class. Students aren't yet exposed to the reading level, vocabulary, concepts. Group work helps them learn the structure, heighten awareness of what to look for as they read.
"It is essential for them to form study groups," said Andrade. "It greatly expands their learning."
Lizbeth Castelon said she is learning about different styles of communication. "People can be straight and direct," she said, " or emotional. That changes the way we respond."
Castelon wants to study business, get her AS at Gavilan and transfer to Cal Poly Pomona.
Lizbeth Castelan and Ashley Vazquez use text, study guide and annotated notes
to understand new communications concepts.
Andrade, who has taught summer bridge classes at San Jose State University, also teaches in the Morgan Hill district and at Gavilan.
"Here they learn how to study, how to take notes, and to create a 'divide and conquer' approach to study groups," she said. "As they stick with it, they are more apt to reach their goals."
"With annotation, we highlight the important parts, then rewrite it," said Ashley Vazquez. A Mt. Madonna high school graduate, she want to major in English and transfer to UC Davis.
Suzuki Jimenez, a Live Oak high school graduate, plans to study digital media and photography. Top transfer universities on her list include San Francisco State and San Jose State.
In recent materials, students viewed the Marshmallow Challenge and the Stanford Prison Study. Andrade, segueing into the next chapter they will study, reminds them, "All teams are groups, but not all groups are teams."
For more information about the Summer Bridge program, contact Eduardo Cervantes, Director of the TRiO program.