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Summer Bridge Program benefits students transitioning to college
Baldwin City, Kan. — Twenty-five recent high school graduates on Friday completed the Summer Bridge Program, designed for students to develop a better understanding of college life, on Baker University's Baldwin City campus.
Five university professors and six Baker students serving as peer mentors assisted, ensuring that the students begin the fall semester with effective study habits and time management skills. The students lived on campus for five weeks.
"The summer program is very intensive, and we get the opportunity to form a unique bond with our students," said Carrie Coward Bucher, coordinator of student achievement at Baker. "These are kids who are anxious to get a start on their collegiate careers, excited to learn and open to positive and constructive feedback."
Hayden Jenkins, an incoming freshman from Topeka, was one of 11 soon-to-be Baker students participating. He and the other students received seven credit hours after completing courses in psychology, sociology and microbiology.
"It was challenging," said Jenkins, who plans to major in exercise science. "But once you get into a routine attending classes, doing research and studying, it becomes a smoother process. I can now hit the ground running when I return to Baker for the fall semester."
Now in its third year at Baker, the program is designed for students to enhance their study habits and change their approach to coursework.
"Because of immediate feedback and the strong support structure during Bridge, we see students come in with ineffective study habits before they leave having learned the skills necessary to achieve their goals," Coward Bucher said. "I love to watch kids who want to be successful acquire the skills to be independent learners. I love being their cheerleader."
The program, a collaborative effort with the Kauffman Scholars, has doubled in attendance in one year. The Kauffman Scholars program helps urban students in Kansas City better prepare for a college education.
"The faculty worked harder to create community among the students," Coward Bucher said. "The students were all kind and made it enjoyable and rewarding."
In addition to Coward Bucher, other faculty members were Dave Bostwick, associate professor of mass media; Robyn Long, assistant professor of psychology; Darcy Russell, professor of biology and Jake Bucher, associate professor sociology.
The student peer leaders were EJ Carter, Dani Carlson, Adonis Powell, Billi Pipes, Jeremy Gathright and Stephanie Nelson.