Summer Bridge Programs Help Students
BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS – APRIL 24, 2013 – Summer can be
so much more than lazy days on the beach, especially for students who want to
get closer to their goals. At The
University of Texas at Brownsville, several free or low-cost
programs are available to help students make strides toward their individual
Angeles and Jose Medina, shown in the Learning Enrichment Lab, attended Summer
Bridge last year and are looking forward to helping new students get a good
start by being peer advisors during Summer Bridge 2013.
Jose Medina knew he wanted to attend The University of Texas at
Brownsville, his first step to reaching his goal of becoming a meteorologist. He
took the COMPASS test in spring 2012, hoping to receive his acceptance notice
and begin his studies in the fall.
However, he hit a little snag, missing the mathematics minimum score
requirement by a hair.
Medina received notice that he would still be admitted to UTB, but
because of his math score he would have to take Algebra I as a remedial course,
meaning he would need to pay full cost for a class and receive no college
His counselor at Lopez High School, Luz Zamora, told him about the UTB
Bridge program, and he knew right away this would be a
worthwhile $50 investment.
“In Summer Bridge I brushed up on my algebra and retook the COMPASS and
passed it,” Medina said. “I learned so much in the program; it was a very
productive six weeks. There was a lot of emphasis on making the change from high
school to college, and so when I started classes in August, I felt
Summer Bridge is designed for students just like Medina, whose COMPASS
scores indicate a student to be “almost college-ready” in reading, writing
and/or math – but needing a little boost.
With the Summer Bridge, incoming freshman students have an option to
circumvent the cost and time of fall-semester remedial classes. Summer Bridge
not only assists students in bringing up their COMPASS test scores, but also
introduces participants to college-level expectations in the target areas of
College Algebra, Composition I or History I.
Eighty-eight percent of the students who completed the 2012 Summer
Bridge Program satisfied the college-ready standards and took college level
courses in the fall 2012 semester. They saved a semester of time and
A graduate of Tec Milenio in Matamoros, Sheila Angeles passed her math
COMPASS but was under the wire in reading.
Summer Bridge instructors are not only university
professors, but also peer tutors and peer advisors who have “been there, done
that.” Angeles and Medina will both be peer advisors in the upcoming Summer
“I want to help other students get that jump just like I did,” Medina
said. “We will be there to help; we will share our experiences and answer
Angeles said another benefit of Summer Bridge is getting to know other
students and developing relationships.
“The tutors during the summer were great, and really helped me out a
lot,” Angeles said. “Then when classes started in August, I walked into the
Learning Enrichment lab, and there were some of the same tutors. So this is
where I come to do all my studying – it’s a comfortable place to work and
everyone is so positive.”
Limor Chavez, Summer Bridge Program Coordinator, said Summer Bridge is
a win-win proposition that helps students build their subject competence while
learning time management skills and prioritizing tips.
“The fee is $50, and that includes all necessary materials,” Chavez
said. “We have two sessions daily – one in the morning and one in the afternoon
– making it accessible to students who have jobs and other responsibilities.
These six weeks are designed to lay the foundation for a successful and
meaningful college career.”
Summer Bridge takes place from Monday, June 6 to Monday, July 10. For
more information, contact Limor Chavez at 956-832-7380 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Math Boot Camp
Camp is another bridge program being offered this summer. This
camp is designed for students in three categories.
One, high school graduates admitted to UTB that would like to test out
of pre-calculus. These students could save one or more semesters of math and
about $600 in tuition per course.
Two, UTB students that failed pre-calculus in the past and would like
to test out and not pay for the course again; and three, non-traditional
students who have not taken a math course recently and would like to get a
two-week refresher course.
Boot Camp I begins with a pre-test, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, June
8, and continues through the post-test on Saturday, June
Boot Camp II begins with a pre-test from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday,
Aug. 3, and continues through the post-test on Saturday, Aug.
Both boot camp workshops run Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to noon
and 1 to 4 p.m.
Engineering Summer Bridge
“The engineering summer bridge program prepares students for an
engineering career at UTB,” said Dr. Sanjay
Kumar, Assistant Professor of Engineering. “Students who
successfully complete this program can start taking courses towards their
bachelor’s degree in engineering during their first semester in
Engineering Bridge is free of charge for students who have been
admitted to UTB as declared engineering majors. The program offers engineering
math, history and practice. In math, students will prepare for the pre-calculus
credit exam in order to be able to take calculus.
Engineering history will comprise learning how historical buildings
were constructed by the Aztecs, Egyptians, Greeks and other ancient, advanced
In engineering practice, students will “fly” a plane in the wind tunnel
and test and fire a rocket engine on a model rocket.
The class covers topics of ENGR 1101 (Introduction to Engineering) with
the possibility of achieving credit for the fall.
“Our program covers all of this, plus field trips to local industries
and places of engineering interest, including the airport and the air museum,”