CAC’s Summer Bridge program helps students transition into college

By Guy Harrison, Media & Marketing Specialist

PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. - If the idea of starting college sounds intimidating, fear not, you are not alone. Central Arizona College's office of student retention seeks to make the transition to college easier for select students with its annual Summer Bridge program, available at the college's Signal Peak Campus.

The program, geared toward new CAC students who have recently graduated from high school or have obtained their GED, will run from Aug. 7-11. Space is limited so students are encouraged to apply immediately.

Summer Bridge is an invaluable program for qualifying new college students that offers a challenging slate of workshops, activities and team-building events designed to prepare students to meet the expectations of college and prepare them to succeed, persist and transfer on to a university.

There is no cost for the program. Students live on campus as and are provided room and board at no charge.

Examples of previous workshops and activities scheduled in the program include Goal Setting and Time Management, What First Year College Students Fear Most, Faculty Expectations: The Difference between High School and College, Blogging 101, and Salsa/Latin dancing classes.

"Summer Bridge sets the foundation for the ultimate college experience," Luisa Lopez, a former Summer Bridge participant, explained. "It was five fun and exciting days that gave me the resources that allowed me to stay focused on my goal to be the first in my family to graduate from college."

Summer Bridge students are funneled into the TRiO Student Support Services program that offers individualized academic support and the opportunity to apply for TRiO Scholarship funds. Summer Bridge and TRiO are both funded by a $1.15 million grant from the United States Department of Education.

"Attending Summer Bridge is the best decision I ever made," Lopez declared. "Without my peer mentor and TRiO advisors, I don't think I would be as successful as I am today."

TRiO is a nationwide, federally-funded organization of projects committed to providing educational opportunity for all Americans regardless of race, ethnic background or economic circumstance.

The TRiO Student Support Services program on the Signal Peak Campus at CAC is designed to help low-income and first-generation college students, as well as students with disabilities, successfully complete college, graduate and move on to a four-year institution.

TRiO projects are funded under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and are the called "TRiO" programs because there were initially three (TRiO Educational Talent Search, TRiO Upward Bound, and TRiO Student Support Services).

While financial aid helps students overcome financial barriers to higher education, TRiO programs help students overcome class, social and cultural barriers to higher education.

To find out if you qualify or to apply to CAC's Summer Bridge, please call CAC TRiO Student Support Services at 520-494-5060 or search "Summer Bridge" at www.centralaz.edu for the application.

In addition, those seeking information also may find CAC TRiO on Facebook and Twitter, or in person in the Student Services Building (M) on CAC's Signal Peak Campus. Signal Peak is located at 8470 N. Overfield Rd. just a few miles east of the I-10 exit for McCartney Road between the cities of Casa Grande and Coolidge.

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