Puente is a nationally recognized, academic program designed to help students adjust to college life and prepare for transfer to a four-year university. The program has three major components: accelerated writing instruction, counseling, and mentoring. We have our own classes, our own counselor, and every semester, we match our students with professionals from the community who can provide them with knowledge and guidance about education, careers, and life. Puente provides its students with a strong academic foundation, which is essential for success at SJCC and at the four-year university that they transfer to.
Puente is co-sponsored by the University of California and the California Community Colleges.
We encourage all college students who have a strong desire to transfer to a four-year university to apply. If you believe that you have what it takes to become a member of the Puente Familia, or would like more information about the program, please contact Elizabeth Eckford.
The mission of the Puente Project is to increase the number of educationally underrepresented students who enroll in four-year universities, earn degrees, and return to the community as leaders and mentors.
Puente was founded in 1981 by Felix Galaviz and Patricia McGrath at Chabot College in Hayward. The program was launched as a grassroots initiative to address the low rate of academic achievement among Mexican-American and Latino community college students.
Felix Galaviz and Patricia McGrath reviewed over 2000 community college student transcripts and inferred that:
Students were avoiding academic counselingStudents were not enrolling in college level writing coursesStudents were the first in their family to attend college
Students were avoiding academic counseling
Students were not enrolling in college level writing courses
Students were the first in their family to attend college
As a result of the research conducted, the Puente counseling, writing, and mentoring model emerged. This model has been successful for over twenty years in both the community college and high school programs.
Since 1981, Puente has expanded to 56 community colleges throughout the state. As an outgrowth of its success as a community college program, Puente piloted a high school version of its program in 1993 that has since been replicated in 36 high schools throughout California.
Veronica HarrisCounselor(408) 288-3344Veronica.Harris@sjcc.edu
Elizabeth Eckford(408) 288-3121Elizabeth.Eckford@sjcc.edu