Bridge program eases students into UOG


Guampdn.com
Written by Erin Thompson

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For young students, going to college offers a host of opportunities to learn new things, ease into adulthood and prepare themselves for a career. But college also presents students with challenges — everything from navigating financial aid to figuring out how to meet fellow students.

To help students adjust to college life, the University of Guam TRIO Student Support Services program offers a summer bridge program.

The program, which runs from Aug. 1 to 5, is free for incoming freshmen and transfer students. From financial aid to brushing up on math and English skills, the program is aimed at preparing students for college life in order to help them succeed and graduate.

“It’s just kind of like college survivor skills,” program coordinator Emmanuel John Aguon said. “And it’s personalized. It’s not like you’re in a room and it’s one person talking to 200 people.”

The program can accommodate up to 160 students, and provides tours of UOG, including a look at dorms and the library, and introduces students to services like counseling and disability services. Students also will get financial aid information, and tips on personal budgeting — so students know what it will mean, financially, to borrow $20,000 to go to school, Aguon said.

Students also get help with time management, and a walk through the undergraduate requirements for their selected major. Course instructors also try to introduce students to UOG President Robert Underwood, Aguon said.

While the program is open to everyone, it specifically targets students from low-income backgrounds, and those who may be the first in their family attending college.

“It’s geared toward helping people that don’t normally have the opportunity to go to college,” Aguon said.

Students from community colleges and off-island schools also are encouraged to take advantage of the program.

Students can ask questions individually of instructors to get the answers they need, beyond the five-day program. Once the students finish the one-week program, the Student Support Services program is available to help them throughout their time at college.

“There are so many students that are fully capable, and all they need is a little extra help,” Aguon said.

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