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Zach Lingy teaching a summer bridge course.

Summer Bridge Program Helps Students Thrive

By Gaye Hill

Summer Bridge Program Helps Students Thrive

By Gaye Hill

For the second year, Meredith College offered a Summer Bridge Program to help new students thrive in college.

More than 80 students signed up for a two-week course that began online on August 7. The classes were then held in person from August 16-18. Participants earned two hours of general elective credit, and all courses were offered on a pass/fail basis.

The Summer Bridge Program is designed to help prepare students for college-level work. Each class helps students strengthen important skills, like math, writing, oral presentation, and/or research skills. Classes address a wide range of topics in order to appeal to a diverse set of student interests, from chemistry to media to music. 

Assistant Professor of English Zach Linge took several considerations into account when choosing the class topic, “Brief Conversations With Giants.” 

“I asked myself what moments inside and outside of college classrooms best prepared me for the passion-driven career I have today,” said Linge. “What were the greatest risks I took in pursuit of my goals and how did those risks pay off?”

Described as “… a crash course on composition for communication that gives you the skills you need to talk to anyone,” Linge’s class was intended to help students identify a topic or a profession they found interesting, gain the skills they need to communicate effectively online and in person, and enter Meredith invigorated, connected to a group of peers, and confident in their potential.

Linge observed that the students emerged from the experience connected to their cohort, confident in expressing their opinions, and capable of performing research they are passionate about. 

“These students are extraordinary. I hope their time in Bridge helped them see that,” Linge said.

Sarah Roth, dean of the School of Arts and Humanities, said the program continues to provide valuable support for new students.

“Summer Bridge has been a great way for incoming students to get to know other students, to meet a faculty member, and to become familiar with campus before the fall semester starts,” said Roth. “It also gives first-year students an opportunity to refresh their skills and get a sense of what it’s like to take a college class, but in a more relaxed environment.”

Thanks to funding this year from the N.C. governor’s office, the 2023 Summer Bridge Program was offered to incoming first-year students at Meredith free of charge for N.C. residents, with out-of-state students paying a fee that included tuition, food, and housing for August 16-18, and all activities. 

“We were fortunate to have had access to GEER (Governor’s Emergency Education Relief) funding this year and last year to help students who are North Carolina residents get a head start on their Meredith education at no cost to them,” said Roth.

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