Following their high school graduation and before their first semester in college, Bridge Idaho students have the opportunity to live on campus, enroll in 6 credits at the University of Idaho, and engage in curriculum and services especially designed to support the transition of low-income and first-generation students—all at no cost to the participant. The Upward Bound Bridge Program provides an intensive focus on students’ individual needs and goals as they enter into college.
Recent research from the National Center for Postsecondary Research
has concluded that typical summer bridge programs, those without a prior connection to the students in high school and without follow-up once the students are in college, are largely ineffective. In the words of the researchers, “short-term interventions yielding strong, long-term effects are difficult to find.”
Bridge Idaho’s summer bridge program is entirely different than those short-term interventions so often applied as a remedy for student achievement. Our six-week summer residential program continues a relationship with our students and builds upon the development we’ve supported throughout high school. We not only improve students’ learning strategies and study skills, but also allow them to explore careers and majors through hands-on experience, including exclusive internships and service-learning opportunities. The Bridge Program also assists students in establishing relationships on campus and becoming more comfortable utilizing college support and understanding the institution. Furthermore, given Bridge Idaho’s role on campus, we continue to support our students after the completion of the summer bridge program—serving as advocates and providing follow-up services