Students in field

Climbing the six major barriers to academic success

May 5, 2016

Summer Bridge Program to aid student growth and success

Summer Bridge Program FinnU 01

Meant to “bridge” the gap between high school and college, pre-college summer programs, or bridge programs, (like Finlandia’s recently announced Summer Bridge Program) have been shown to increase the academic, personal, and social development of underprepared, minority and low-income students and prepare them for their first year of college.

The research consistently shows that some of the major barriers to college success include:

  1. Lack of self-confidence
  2. Inappropriate expectations or knowledge about college environment
  3. Lack of connection to the college community or external community
  4. Lack of early validation within the college environment
  5. Family members who do not understand the goals of college
  6. Not involving faculty in summer bridge programs and the transition process (Terenzini, Rendon, Upcraft, Millar, Allison, Gregg, Jalomo, 1996).

So, how will Finlandia’s Summer Bridge Program address these six major barriers to academic success?

  1. Students will receive additional support in their academic coursework, helping them achieve personal goals, and realize their own potential.
  2. Students will learn all about the Finlandia campus community, meet the people they need to know, such as: tutors, counselors, the registrar, deans, faculty and the University president. They will be heavily supported throughout the program and have their questions answered in an intimate environment surrounded by peers who have the same questions.
  3. Students will have the opportunity to hike in the Porcupine Mountains, bike at Copper Harbor, shop local businesses and meet current students, all before starting the fall semester!
  4. Many of The Summer Bridge faculty and staff were the first in their families to graduate from college. They know the struggle of wondering if they belong or if they have what it takes to success. Students will be provided thorough and frequent feedback on their academic work and will be given opportunities to review and revise their work. The Bridge isn’t about sinking or swimming – it’s about having the flotation devices needed as you learn to swim. Summer Bridge participants won’t have to ask for help; it will simply be there.
  5. Families make significant sacrifices to send their children to college, financially and emotionally, and often don’t know what supporting their new college student should look like. At the launch of the Summer Bridge Program, parents will be invited for a reception where they can meet the people who will help their student transition to Finlandia and ask questions. The students’ relationship with their family is central to their success and our staff are here to support both the student and the family members.
  6. Dr. Hilary Virtanen and Dr. Richard Gee are full-time faculty at Finlandia who have positive reputations on campus! They are both excited to meet the summer bridge participants and help them transition to Finlandia this summer.

Learn more about the Summer Bridge Program at finlandia.edu/summerbridgeprogram. Finlandia also invites you to be the first to find out about updates regarding the program by signing up for the newsletter via the form below.

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