Get a jump start on college

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By Bonnie Gordon

Get a jump start on college this summer on the UNM-LA campus as part of the Sumer Bridge Program.

The program is specifically designed to prepare students for the challenges of college life.

Thanks to a $15,000 Los Alamos National Laboratory Foundation STEM grant, the program waives tuition and fees. Students who graduate from high school or receive a GED in 2010 are eligible.

“The students are entering college as a cohort with other new students. They quickly form friendships that support them in starting college work,” Academic Advisor Jackie La New said. “In the summer, when classes are smaller, students are able to get more personal attention from the advisors and from their teachers.”

Due to the LANL Foundation’s STEM focus, this summer, the program will feature a math track and a tech track. All students will take University Studies 101, a college success course stressing such themes as independence, relationships, time management, stress management and study skills.

In addition, Summer Bridge students in the math track will also choose an arts course such as ceramics, photography or introduction to opera while those in the tech track will choose from robotics or photovoltaics and an appropriate level English course.

UNM-LA student Rhiannon Gonzales took part in Summer Bridge in 2009.

“I got a good start out of Summer Bridge,” she said. “I wouldn’t have understood what college was about nearly as well without it.”

In addition to free tuition, Gonzales appreciated getting six of her college credits out of the way in only eight weeks.

“I learned a lot in my math class. I grasped the concepts fast and understood them better than I did in high school even though the time involved was a lot shorter,” she said. “The small class size was really helpful.”

Applications for the Summer Bridge Program are available now.

The priority deadline for application is April 16. If space remains in the program, UNM-LA will continue to accept applications after this date. Download an application at www.la.unm.edu or stop by the Student Services Center, downstairs in Building 2 on the UNM-LA campus.

Contact Jackie La New at 663-3402 for more information about Summer Bridge 2010.