This summer each TN Promise recipient had the chance to participate in the Summer Bridge Program. All 13 community colleges offered this 3-week program, to help better prepare students for college and give them the chance to test out of learning support classes their freshman year of college.
Each day the students would spend 1.5 hours reviewing math and 1.5 hours reviewing reading and writing followed by a lunch and learn. During lunch each day a different speaker would come in and talk to the group about an array of college and professional topics, from resumes and interview tips to proper email etiquette and everything in between. Not only did these students have the chance to review Math and English but they had the opportunity to meet peers that they might have class with, learn the college campuses, interact with faculty and staff at the school and get an idea of how college classes will be. On the final day of the program students completed the Compass Test, this test is an ACT type test that is un-timed. What is the significance of this test you might wonder? This test allows students to test out of learning-support classes when they begin college in the fall. Students are placed into certain level classes based on their ACT scores but this test gives students a chance to test out of learning support classes that they otherwise would have placed into based on their ACT scores.
This summer across the 13 colleges that offered the program 554 participated in the program. Although some students might say getting up at 8am each morning was difficult, they also expressed how much those early morning wake up calls paid off. Even for students who might not have tested out of a class they still benefited from the program and feel that they are better prepared for college this fall. College can be quite an adjustment but for these students they already have a good idea of what it will take to be successful in college.
Not only did the students express how much the program helped them, but we have the numbers to show it too! 93% of all students either improved in a subject area or tested out of a learning support class. That is incredible! We are looking forward to having the Bridge Program again next summer and hope to see even more students participate. As you can see it is definitely worth the 8am wake up call.