Be it the close-knit community that creates a strong foundation for intellectual and individual growth or the unique opportunity to work for two rigorous weeks, side-by-side, with college professors, the Bridge Program at Colorado College is an ongoing tradition for first generation students as well as some who come from high schools with limited resources.
The program involves 60 students on campus for one reason (preparing for their freshman year), eight mentors by their side, providing them with knowledge in and out of the classroom, and four classes working together to call themselves Colorado College’s Bridge Program.
Admitted students receive an invitation letter towards the end of their senior year and are asked to RSVP before June in order to ensure their placement in one of the available classes. In return, the college pays for their room and board and gives them a $200 stipend to the bookstore.
Following up from a 2007 article, expansion in the program as well as resources for these students is extremely evident—between a new class, more mentors, and the opportunity to work more closely with professors, it’s no wonder the program continues to grow year after year.
“The new courses…are pretty exciting. It will not only be interesting, but they all prepare student for the rigorous intellectual investigation of a broad range of topics, interdisciplinary learning,” said Emily Chan, Associate Dean of Academic Programs and Strategic Initiatives.
This upcoming summer, courses offered include Biological and Mathematical Analysis of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus; The Culture and Scientific Construction of Identity: Food, Chemistry, Culture; Truth with Curlicues: Comedy and Culture; and The HIV Epidemic, Economic Growth and Development, and Other Issues.
These courses are made in order to prepare the students not only for this transition into college, but also for their educational shift into the block program.
“The courses, like a regular block course, have multiple ‘stress points’ (heavy reading load and big paper due at the same time as well as busy co-curricular activities; coming together to help a friend deal with difficult moments). These are important formative moments as we enter young adulthood,” said Chan.
Indubitably, the expansion and companionship provided in this program enable and push for growth as well as adaptation to college life.
“Students who are invited to the Bridge Program are likely to be among the students who have ‘travelled the furthest’ in their life journey to college, and so the college wants to show them our commitment to their success with Bridge,” said Chan.