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Summer Bridge Academy celebrates 30 years of excellence


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Summer Bridge student Shawn Vang speaks at one of the program’s activities.

This summer marks the 30th anniversary of the Educational Opportunity Program’s (EOP) Summer Bridge Academy at Sacramento State. The program fosters the successful transition of students from high school to college.

In 1984, Sacramento State was selected as one of the first CSU campuses to pilot the Summer Bridge Program. In 1989, EOP inherited the program from the Ethnic Studies Department. The academy has transitioned recently from a residential to a commuter program to better serve more students from low-income and first-generation college student backgrounds. This summer the program is serving 250 students.

The academy is an intensive, six-week academic program designed to assist EOP first-year students entering Sac State in the fall. The program works collaboratively with other campus programs and departments, including Student Organizations and Leadership, Math Learning Skills, and the Math, English, and Ethnic Studies departments. The academy focuses on academics, social networking, and personal development to create a foundation toward a timely graduation.

Theater Professor Roberto Pomo has taught Bridge classes for several years. “My students are motivated and enthused to continue their education at Sacramento State,” he says. “This program provides a vibrant and well-balanced academic structure that helps them prepare for the challenges of higher education.”


Given the successes of the program, a new component was added this year for incoming transfer students to help them get a jump-start on their college degrees. The Transfer Bridge Program represents a partnership between EOP and the DEGREES (Dedicated to Educating, Graduating and Retaining Educational Equity Students) project as a means to further strengthen the pipeline between Sac State and the community college system by promoting degree attainment.

“Summer Bridge has garnered a successful 30-year history through its committed students, faculty, and staff,” says Marcellene Watson-Derbigny, associate vice president of Student Retention and Academic Success. “It is one of the primary vehicles for EOP to advance its goals of early academic preparation, the promotion of a successful transition to college, and leadership and collegiate development that empowers our students for excellence.”

In celebration of the 30th anniversary, a reception will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 7 at the Alumni Center for the freshman Summer Bridge Scholars. Additional information about the Summer Bridge Academy can be found on the EOP website

EOP students have the potential to succeed at Sacramento State but sometimes struggle to complete a higher education because of their economic and/or educational background. The program is committed to helping students succeed and providing services such as academic advising, retention services, career counseling and specialized learning communities that support students and increase graduation rates. Learn more at

For media assistance, contact Sacramento State’s Public Affairs office at (916) 278-6156. – Alan Miller