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July 20, 2012
Contact: 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 benefits recent high school graduates

Baldwin City, Kan. — Thirteen recent high school graduates developed a better understanding of college life by participating in the Summer Bridge Program at Baker University, a collaborative effort with the Kauffman Scholars. It marked the second consecutive year in which Baker was involved in the program.Summer-Bridge-group-photo

The students lived for five weeks on the Baldwin City campus, immersed in college coursework. They received six credit hours and academic support from Baker faculty.

“We wanted them to discover what it takes for them to get an A or high grade in a college class,” said Carrie Coward Bucher, the Summer Bridge Program director. “There was a different dynamic with this group of students, yet there were similarities between this year’s students and last year’s group.”

The students, including four who are enrolled at Baker University for the fall semester, capped their coursework with presentations on July 19 in front of their classmates and the faculty. Topics discussed included sex education, same-sex marriage, public vs. private schools, stem-cell research, oil production and euthanasia.

“I definitely gained study skills,” said Mone’kai Shannon-Thornton, a Summer Bridge participant headed this fall to St. Benedictine in St. Joseph, Minn. “I found myself in the library six hours a day to be better prepared for my presentation.”

The group was able to mix in some fun during their time on the Baldwin City campus. They traveled to Worlds of Fun, went out to dinner and a movie.

The students received full-time support inside and outside the classroom from current Baker faculty members and students, who served as peer leaders. Students serving as leaders were Abby Reynolds, Jeremy Gathright, Kevin Lysaught, Austin Boehm, Teresa Morse and Molly Bostwick.

In addition to Carrie Coward Bucher, other faculty members involved in preparing the Summer Bridge participants were Jake Bucher, Alan Grant, Jean Johnson and Leonard Ortiz. The faculty taught courses in economics and sociology, and also provided support in writing and study skills.

“The students received a lot more personalized, one-on-one attention,” Carrie said. “We think that worked out well.”

Adonis Powell, a Baker University freshman from El Paso, Texas, enjoyed the program as he prepared for the fall semester.

“It opened me up to the college experience by providing structure for my days,” he said. “I also was able to make some good fiends in my time here.”


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