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News Release
News Contact:
Cathy Summa-Wolfe
, Director
Communications & Community Relations

COM Launches UC Puente Program to Support Transfers

Program has “proven track record” with under-represented students

KENTFIELD, Calif.—June 10, 2008—College of Marin has been certified to implement the Puente Project, a highly acclaimed English and mentoring program that supports underrepresented students’ transferring to four-year universities.
“The Puente program is one of the most successful transfer programs in the system for under-represented students,” said Nick Chang, Interim Dean of Student Development and Special Programs. Chang will oversee the program, which is funded and supported by the University of California, Office of the President. A new Puente counselor will be on board in July.

Qualifications for Puente students include: eligibility for English 120 and a commitment to participate in Puente learning activities such as mentorship, personal development, counseling and college preparation. The Puente English class (Puente CRN#381216) will focus on culturally relevant readings.

“The Puente program has a proven track record as a vehicle for retaining students,” said Arnulfo Cedillo, Director of Student Affairs. With skilled mentorship, students get new meaning from their writing assignments. “In the end, students learn to write better, develop a professional mentoring opportunity and become positive about what they want to pursue as a career.”

The mission of the Puente Project is to increase the number of educationally underrepresented students who enroll in four-year colleges and universities, earn degrees, and return to the community as leaders and mentors to future generations. The first Puente Project was initiated at Chabot College in 1981. Since then, the successful program has been replicated at 59 community colleges and 33 high schools in California. The UC Regents oversee the programs.

In 1998, Puente was one of ten programs selected from a national pool of over 1,400 to win the prestigious Innovations in American Government Award, a program of the Ford Foundation, the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and the Council for Excellence in Government.

The UC Regents’ Puente Office will provide COM with $35,000 each year for three years to run the program. Additionally Puente instructors and counselors will be able to participate in staff development support and programs at no cost. COM will track student outcomes to determine the impact of Puente. For more information, call (415) 485-9375 or email Arnulfo Cedillo.

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