Summer Bridge Program Helps New Students with Transition to College Life and Learning

To help equip first-year students with the skills to thrive in college, the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs (OMSA) introduced a three-week residential Summer Bridge Program, running July 22 to Aug. 15. Twenty-three students were expected to participate in a classroom experience designed to strengthen their quantitative, qualitative, and critical thinking skills.

The program introduces students to University resources and prepares them for the rigors of an OWU education, while allowing them to make early, enduring friendships. It is open to all incoming first-year students, with a focus on first-generation students, low-income students, students of color, and/or LGBT students. OMSA historically held pre-orientation programs of limited duration; the Bridge program is an expansion of those efforts.

“We all know that leaving for college is a big moment in a young adult’s life, but for students from marginalized groups, the transition can be even more of a challenge,” says Charles Kellom, assistant dean of OMSA. “We wanted to create a way to welcome and support these students, while getting them excited for the four years to come.”

Chris Weber P’20 and Nancy McGowan P’20 of Cincinnati, whose daughter is a rising junior, recently made a $10,000 gift to support the purchase of as many as 10 laptops for students in the program.

The program is free, and housing, meals, and social activities are provided. It leads directly into Camp Oh-Wooo, a six-day immersion program required for all first-year students to help introduce them to OWU.

Return to the Fall 2018 OWU Magazine