The Summer Bridge program at Central Piedmont Community College helps recent high school graduates adjust to college life and network with other students and faculty. They are able to jumpstart their academic career and avoid "summer melt," the phenomenon in which high school graduates are excited and plan to attend college but never enroll. According to a June 2018 blog post from the U.S. Department of Education, nearly one-third of high school graduates planning to attend college never make it, and summer melt impacts low-income and first-generation students the hardest.
During the six-week program, students can earn up to six college credits. They participate in activities designed to build college-level academic skills and a sense of community. Associate Dean of Mentoring and Bridge Programs Willie Williams says that students learn the differences between high school and college during the first week at Summer Bridge. The small, structured environment helps students with this transition.
Aslhy Isaias is a first-time college student enrolled in the Associate in Arts degree program for fall 2019. She met Mr. Williams while attending the Summer Bridge orientation with a friend. Mr. Williams explained that going from high school to college was a huge step and not always easy, and he convinced Aslhy to join the program According to Aslhy, Summer Bridge has helped her to "transition easier, learn the way around campus and classrooms, and...make connections."
To learn more about the Summer Bridge program, visit Central Piedmont's website.