PRCC offering Bridge to College program

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The transition from high school to college, or from the working world to college, is difficult for anyone. For students with low-incomes and/or a disability, this transition is even more daunting.
At Pearl River Community College, staff are making the difficult transition easier through the Summer Bridge Program, also known as START.
START stands for Students Transitioning to Academic Success and Responsibilities at The community college, according to press release from PRCC.
The program offers the opportunity to earn nine college credit hours during the summer by taking three classes; community college survival skills, basic communication skills and basic computation skills said Georgia Field, Summer Bridge program coordinator.
“The classes provided in the summer allow these students to get an early start on the transition to the college world. It is already hard enough to try and adjust to college, so we have made it easier by providing these classes, getting the students into the proper mindset so they can be successful,” said Field.
The survival class focuses on understanding Canvas, which is the engine the community college works upon. The class also gives the students a solid understanding of all the departments available at PRCC.
The basic communication class is an English course, and basic computation is an algebra course, Field said.
She said this early start can boost the confidence of students because it gives them an opportunity to start with a good grade point average.
There is no tuition for the classes, said Field, however dorm and book expenses are not covered unless they apply for a grant.
“Students are required to apply for a federal Pell Grant, which covers the cost of books, fees, and dorm expenses, assisting these students even more,” said Field.
This will be the eleventh year the program will be offered. Field said they expect to have 30-35 students this time, which is above the average of 20-30 students.
Participants need to meet criteria based on high school GPA, graduation from a GED program, ACT scores, or being a non-traditional student who has been out the classroom environment for more than five years, according to the press release.
Also, applicants must meet low-income criteria, neither parent must not have graduated from a four-year college, and/or the student must have been diagnosed with a disability.
Participants will be accepted as a PRCC student by the admissions department, just like any other student of the community college.
To apply for the program, interested parties must fill out an application available at PRCC’s website. Applications can be emailed or mailed to interested parties or can be picked up at the Poplarville campus.
“We want to make sure we provide as much help as we can to these students. It is already difficult, so anything we can do to help is really important,” said Field.
The program’s free services extend into the fall and spring.
“All the services we offer are all paid for. The main one is free one-on-one tutoring, but we also provide counseling, advising, and computers and printers for all students to have access to,” said Field.
The Summer Bridge program is accepting applications until June 16 and will run from 8 a.m. to 3:50 p.m. July 5, through July 28, on the Poplarville campus.

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