When you’re a high school student, the prospect of going to college can seem like an enormous step. That’s why People’s United Community Foundation supports the Housatonic Community College (HCC) Bridges Program, which helps to make area high school students ‘college ready,’ and recently provided a grant contribution of $8,500 for this academic year.
Designed to foster the successful transition of high school students to college, the program consists of a series of four college readiness workshops, including: Orientation to College, College Placement Test Preparation, Financial Aid, and College Experience.
During the last academic school year, eight local schools partnered with HCC to offer the program to nearly 400 students, with 95% leaving feeling more informed about college readiness. Since its inception in 2007, almost 6,900 students have participated in the Bridges program.
“The program gives students a good opportunity to get a glimpse of what college life would be like,” said Susan Unrad, a Bunnel High School Counselor. “It also encourages them to strive for post-secondary education, and have an understanding of what a college requires of its students.”
A cross-campus initiative for HCC, the Bridges program includes on-campus experiences and workshop instruction from professors in multiple disciplines. Additionally, sample questions from the Accuplacer exam are administered to help predict whether students are ready for college-level courses.
Monroe resident Brianna Yacovelli completed the Bridges program as a student at Masuk High School. Today she attends HCC and credits the program for her enrollment. “I knew I wanted to go to college, but I wasn’t sure how. When I saw HCC it felt homey, the people are friendly here and it’s a pretty campus. I filled out an application and chose HCC.”
“Through supportive partnerships with community leaders like People’s United Community Foundation, we’re closing the achievement gap and helping to strengthen the college completion rate of our area,” said Dr. Paul Broadie, President of Housatonic Community College. “We’re grateful to People’s United Community Foundation for their continued support.’
“Housatonic Community College is playing an instrumental role in our community to ensure high school students are connected to the resources they need to successfully matriculate into college,” said Karen Galbo, Executive Director of People’s United Community Foundation. “The Foundation is proud to support the Bridges Program, to help create the support system needed for youth to reach their college and career goals.”