Summer Bridge helps new CAC students span chasm of first-year fears

By Ashton Graham

PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. - Summer camp may be a thing of the past for most students, but going off to college starts early at Central Arizona College's Summer Bridge program.

During the five-day residential program at CAC's Signal Peak Campus, students will receive an in-depth orientation to college that is designed to help them start the semester on the proverbial right foot.

Summer Bridge will take place Aug. 7-11 and a limited number of spots are still available.

Parents are invited to a parent orientation during the first day of the program, but the rest of the week offers students the taste of college life away from home.

Participants will have a jam-packed schedule of workshops, discussions and activities designed to alleviate the fears faced by new college students - study skills, time management, financial aid, literacy skills, wellness and nutrition, and even yoga.

There is no cost for eligible students to attend the Summer Bridge program. Recent high school graduates are encouraged to apply. Certain eligibility requirements are based on federal guidelines.

Sherrie Soria, coordinator of TRiO at CAC, will oversee this year's Summer Bridge event.

The program was established in 2001 at Central Arizona College and since has provided students an engaging and exciting college orientation during the month of August.

Another benefit for students who attend Summer Bridge is the Peer Mentor program.

Summer Bridge students are assigned a peer mentor for the fall semester. They are encouraged to meet with their mentors as often as necessary while they adjust to college life.

"Students benefit from advice from other students who have successfully made the transition to the college environment," Soria said. "Peer mentors can help with any issue and assist students in navigating the world of higher education."

Students interested in Summer Bridge can search Summer Bridge on the Central Arizona College website, or find CAC_TRIO on Facebook and Twitter for an application.

Applications may also be obtained in the Student Services Building (M) on the CAC Signal Peak Campus. Summer Bridge and TRiO Student Support Services are funded by a five-year $1.15 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

For more information on the Summer Bridge program, please contact Sherrie Soria (520-494-5060/trio@centralaz.edu).

Central Arizona College - District Office 8470 N. Overfield Road, Coolidge, AZ 85128 Phone: 800-237-9814