A Year of Firsts for Summer Bridge Academy
In her first year of coordinating the Goodwin College Summer Bridge Academy, Assistant Dean of Students Angela Skyers has overseen considerable growth to the program.
The Summer Bridge Academy, or SBA, is a program that seeks to bridge recent high school graduates into the collegiate atmosphere with a six-week schedule of college classes mixed with teambuilding and career preparation days.
The 2014 SBA cohort had a record-breaking 95 graduates, 87 of whom will be continuing on to Goodwin College for the fall semester, and many with three to six credits in hand. Overall, 96% of the 2014 graduates enrolled in a college for the fall semester.
Skyers attributes the success of the program to the combined effort of strong faculty and various Goodwin departments and facilities, including help from the library, IT, Academic Affairs, Applicant Advising, Communications, and Admissions.
“[Coordinating SBA] has been a great way to better connect with various departments within the College and understand how they contribute to the program,” she said.
In addition to the faculty support, the SBA recruited the help of 20 student mentors, mostly from the MOVE/WISE programs, to help the students transition into college life and classes. Fifty-six of the graduates were then selected to be a part of the MOVE/WISE programs.
While the program was designed to help students achieve academic success, including allowing students to test into English 101 with their SAT scores, Skyers says it helps students form a community as well. On Fridays, the students were often engaged in community building activities, including the program’s first-ever Field Day and Health and Achievement Fair.
“Even though the Friday programs were largely optional, many students showed up just to see their friends and be around the campus,” she said. “This atmosphere created a safe space for the students.”
Though Summer Bridge now gives way to the fall semester, Skyers already has plans for next year’s program. From the Bridge is set to be the first newsletter created specifically for the program, and she is working with departments in the College to try to provide transportation for students, many of whom took between one and five buses every day to attend.
“I also want to make sure students become more aware of program selection through shadowing or one-day internships, to better promote the programs offered by the College,” she said.
As Skyers plans for her second year coordinating the program, she is determined that this year of dynamic firsts for the Summer Bridge Academy will not be the last.
Check out photos here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/goodwincollege/sets/72157646178400199/