Summer Bridge Program Celebrates 20th Year of Helping Students Prepare for College

Summer Bridge Program Celebrates 20th Year of Helping Students Prepare for College
Summer Bridge students participate in an Ethnic & Women's Studies class taught by professor Juan Medina.

Julio Molina moved from Mexico to the United States just five years ago, and when it came time to attend college he realized he still lacked some of the skills essential to having a successful college experience. To better prepare himself for his first year, Molina took part in the 2004 Summer Bridge Program at Cal Poly Pomona.

“Summer Bridge taught me a lot about responsibility and the importance of going to college,” said Molina, an entering Computer Information Systems student from Huntington Park. “It helped me get used to the campus and teachers, and it allowed me to make a lot of new friends even before school started.”

Molina is one of more than 2,000 students who have completed the Summer Bridge Program since its inception two decades ago.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Summer Bridge Program, part of the university's Educational Equity Services department. The program is designed to help low-income students who demonstrate the motivation and potential to succeed in college. Summer Bridge is a five-week residential program that assists students in making the transition from high school to the more challenging environment of a university. The program helps students build the academic skills needed to be successful at Cal Poly Pomona. It also provides students with a unique opportunity to develop friendships and experience campus life.

The Summer Bridge Program offers credit-bearing courses that help sharpen skills in math, reading, writing and critical thinking. In addition, tutorials, workshops, guest lecturers and other activities are included in the five-week experience. Students participating in the program receive academic advising, registration assistance and opportunities to socialize and network with other students and campus staff. All costs  including registration fees for six units, a double-occupancy room and books  are covered by the Educational Equity Services department.

Students, faculty and staff celebrated the culmination of the 20th Summer Bridge Program at a closing ceremony on Aug. 12 in the Bronco Student Center.

Gary Fredericksen, interim vice president of Student Affairs, congratulated program participants and organizers for “an amazing 20-year run.”

“I can see the difference that this program makes in all of your lives,” he said. “Students are more confident, more knowledgeable and more focused after participating in Summer Bridge.”

In addressing the incoming freshman, Fredericksen said, “You all are on a campus that values your presence, that wants you to succeed, that provides supportive services and that has quality academic advising and counselors.

“There's no greater gift you can give yourself than quality education, and you can get one here at Cal Poly Pomona,” he said. “So let us help you take advantage of this opportunity.”

Freshman Matthew Moore described the Summer Bridge Program as “enlightening.”

“I came in here confident but very nervous about the college experience,” he said. “This program improved my study skills and exposed me to life in the dorms. I feel like Cal Poly Pomona took an interest in me as a human being, and the support I felt from the university was incredible.”

For more information on the Summer Bridge Program, visit