PUENTE is a statewide program operating in 39 California community colleges and is co-sponsored by the University of California and community colleges. It's purpose is to help students acquire the skills they need to pursue their goals and attain a Bachelor's degree. Over the nineteen year's of it's history, PUENTE's three program components - writing, counseling and mentoring - have developed particularly notable strengths. Students have taken leadership roles in the community, earned their degrees, began their careers and returned as mentors for new PUENTE students.
WRITING: PUENTE's writing component includes a developmental writing course followed by a college transfer-level composition course. Students enroll with the same PUENTE instructor for classes over one academic year. These classes provide a supportive and stimulating environment for the student to build confidence in their writing skills through an exploration of Mexican American/Latino literature.
COUNSELING: PUENTE students work closely with their Puente counselor to identify career goals, clarify values and develop short and long-term educational plans, while providing any and all support services to increase success. Students visit University of California (UC) campuses and attend an annual Puente Student Conference on transfer.
MENTORING: Each student is matched with a mentor either from the business community or from the OCC campus. These mentors provide support, encouragement and motivation. Most importantly, mentors share their personal and professional experiences within the context of the mentor/student relationship as students explore and redefine their career goals.
RECRUITMENT: PUENTE recruitment consists of referrals from other programs, referral from other English instructors and counselors, as well as word of mouth between students. We also give presentations to different organizations on campus. Our focus is on both first-time freshman and continuing students reached through high school outreach events and the matriculation process.
WE ACCEPT: PUENTE accepts thirty-two (32) students in any one of the programs based on one academic year.
FOCUS: PUENTE focuses on strengthening writing skills, improving study skills and building self-esteem and ultimately assists in the successful transfer of students to the university.