Summer Bridge Program eases students into college

To-be freshmen recount their valuable experiences during Summer Bridge.

It’s not easy for new students to transition from seniors in high school to freshmen in college.

For students who had the advantage to prepare for their fall semester through the Summer Bridge Program, the changeover wasn’t difficult.

The Student Support Services Program, which is one of three admission and retention services at the Russell Conwell Center, offers a six-week summer program counseling students in reading, study skills, math, career training and other academic guidance.

“At the beginning of Summer Bridge, I didn’t like it because I thought I would be wasting my summer,” said Freda Boateng, a freshman biology major. “But I learned about all of Temple’s resources and how to have access to them. There was a lot of school work that had to be done. Every week we had a paper in English class. The teachers were helpful and so were the teaching assistants.”

Like most of the program’s teaching assistants, senior Daneesha Dent participated in the Summer Bridge Program before beginning her freshman year at Temple.

Dent, an African American studies and psychology major, assisted students with their literacy.
“The workload was intensive, since Summer Bridge is only six weeks. A lot of information is packed in these six weeks. The main thing that the students learned was personal responsibility and being an independent student,” Dent said.

Dent also said students learned to be independent from their calculators while taking their math courses.

The Student Support Services Program provides year-round counseling and tutoring activities free of charge for students who do not meet admission requirements, as they may have low SAT scores.

Eligible students must be first generation college students, low income individuals who are first generation college students, or students with a disability.

“The Summer Bridge Program is a great opportunity for those students who are selected, and it’s not a damper on your summer. In the long, run it’s very beneficial,” Dent said.

The Summer Bridge Program benefits students by improving both their academic and social skills.

“Summer Bridge wasn’t all about studying. It prepared me for college in different aspects, socially and so forth,” Boateng said. “I met so many people that I didn’t know before I started the program. After attending the Summer Bridge Program, I am now ready for college.”

Shannon Phillips can be reached at

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