They range in age from 16 to 60, and come from as close as Montgomery County and as far as the Congo, but they all want to accomplish the same thing – to succeed in college.
The 25 students enrolled in the seven-week Montgomery County Community College Act 101 Scholars Summer Bridge Program kicked off their college careers on July 5, and by the time the Bridge Program concludes on August 16, they will have two college credits under their belts and a familiarity with the College, its support services and the people here to help them succeed.
According to Dr. Craig Smith, director of the Act 101 program and student retention and success, the Summer Bridge Program helps students get a jump start on college.
"The objective of the Bridge Program is to give students the skills they need to succeed and to make meaningful connections early in the college experience," Smith said.
To qualify for the program, students must be registered for at least six credits for the fall semester, must have placed into one or more developmental courses, and meet other financial and state-mandated requirements. The Bridge Program is free to students who qualify.
The program runs Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and includes a Strategies for College Success course, reading and math clinics, and workshops on topics including stress management, financial literacy, grit and persistence, and study skills. Students also learn about the support services available to them at the College, including academic advising, tutoring, career services, financial aid and many others.
However, when the Summer Bridge Program ends and the fall semester begins, students in the program can still rely on the support of the Act 101 program throughout the year to provide tutoring services, monthly skill-building workshops, leadership development symposiums, and dine and dialogue discussions.
"Once the Bridge Program is complete, we want to make sure students take advantage of the support opportunities and connections they made during the summer," Smith said. "We want to make sure they successfully cross that bridge from the summer to the academic year."