Incoming Freshmen Take First Steps To Success with Summer Bridge Academy

picture of summer bridge participants

700 plus students gather for the first day of Summer Bridge Academy

More than 700 members of the incoming Class of 2014 filled the Loker Student Union Dominguez Ballroom on June 30 for the first day of Summer Bridge Academy and took the first steps to becoming the graduating Class of 2018.

For the next six weeks, the students will be attending classes to improve their math and/or writing skills to meet the CSU’s Early Start requirements prior to starting their freshman year. But beyond the classroom, Summer Bridge participants will be meeting with peer mentors, receiving tutoring from Supplemental Instructors (SIs) and taking part in numerous workshops to introduce them to campus life and the various resources available to them. Fun is also on the agenda, with lunchtime “Hunger Games,” sports and team-building activities planned.

Toro mascot with students

The Toro mascot generating Toro pride among incoming freshmen

“It’s going to be a nice long summer, but we’ll get through it together,” program director Paz Oliverez said to attendees. “We’ve got a really big team of folks who are going to be working hard for you this summer to make sure that you all get through these classes, so you don’t waste your six weeks with us. You’ll get through, you’ll definitely be successful, and we’ll ensure you start off you’re first semester here with us ready to move on to the next level, because I know that’s what you’re here for.”

Summer Bridge Academy (SBA) is the first component of the California State University, Dominguez Hills’ Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) and Encounter to Excellence (ETE) program, which combined have been nationally recognized for their comprehensive support of students in the critical first year of college. The programs follow a similar model —a combination of academic advising, supplemental instruction, peer advising and access to resources— however eligibility differs.

In the five years since CSUDH implemented ETE, developmental math and English completion rates have been in the 90th percentile, and retention rates of participating students has been between 80 and 90 percent. As a result of the proven success, University President Willie J. Hagan committed more university dollars to the program, expanding it from 100 students in 2009 to 700-plus for 2014.

Dr. Franklin introduces a few Summer Bridge peer mentors, saying, "Not too long ago they were sitting where you are sitting."

Dr. Franklin introduces a few Summer Bridge peer mentors, saying, “Not too long ago they were sitting where you are sitting.”

Giving a pep talk to the students on their first day of Summer Bridge, William Franklin, acting vice president of enrollment management and student affairs, led them in a call and response of “I can, I will, I must” and encouraged them to take advantage of all the opportunities to ensure they start their college career strong and finish even stronger.

“This is the summer. It’s about to kick off,” he said. “You are on your way to becoming the graduating class of 2018. Sounds good doesn’t it?”





  1. Anonymous says:

    This program has a rich history at DH. It started way back in the 70’s with EOP taking the lead. This program went though different iterations, but ended in the early 2000’s due to budget cuts. It was around that time (2003) that a group of EOP freshmen students created TORO Network to bring back tutoring and summer bridge for EOP students. From the beginning, the tutors for TORO Network were freshmen students who themselves had passed Math 003 and/or Math 009.

    It was TORO Network’s hard work and research that lead to the first EOP math summer bridge in 2007. Having been successful with SI leaders, innovated instruction, and campus partners like registration and the Math Department, that lead to writing the ETE (Title V) grant which later expanding that program to everyone on campus.

    The true dreamers, “can” and “do” when their hearts are in the right place. Let history not forget those brave young people who created TORO Network! Go Toros!

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