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Aug. 26, 2011
Steve Rottinghaus, Baker University public relations director, (785) 594-8330 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Summer Bridge Program prepares students for college

Baldwin City, Kan. — Developed in collaboration with the Kauffman Scholars, Baker University participated in the five-week Summer Bridge Program for the first time, better preparing recent high school graduates for the college life.Summer-Bridge-presentation-group2

Sixteen students enrolled in the residential program, receiving six credit hours and academic support to jump-start their college experience. They all lived in the New Living Center on the Baldwin City program.

“We wanted to provide them an understanding of how to transition into college and be  successful,” said Carrie Coward Bucher, the program director. “They learned more about the dedication, how to manage their study hours at night and develop strong relationships with faculty and their peers.

The program participants received full-time support inside and outside the classroom from Baker faculty members and Baker students, who served as peer leaders. Faculty Jake Bucher, Alan Grant, Eric Hays and Jean Johnson led courses in economics, sociology, math and English. College students John Babb, Jeremy Gathright, Beth Hopkins and Abby Reynolds shared advice on student life with the group.

On the final day of the program, the students paired up for presentations in front of the faculty and classmates. The topics researched and discussed were abortion, illegal immigration, hip-hop/female exploitation, health care, intersexuality, private and public schooling, death penalty and prostitution.

Coward Bucher was impressed by the transformation of the students in a month and the efforts of the Kauffman and university leadership teams.

“It was very rewarding experience and a wonderful partnership between the Kauffman Foundation and Baker University,” she said. “Everybody worked well together to make sure this program in its first year was a success.”


Baker University is committed to assuring student learning, and developing confident, competent and responsible contributors to society.