Diné College’s Summer Bridge Program Gives High Schoolers a Free Option at College Life

Diné College’s 2019 Summer Bridge students included Cheyenne Slover, Autumn Chee and Ambria Hubbard​.Each is a student at Rehoboth Christian School near Gallup.

Photo Credit: Reeverson Descheny/Diné College​


June 21, 2019  

TSAILE, Ariz. — Duane Yazza decided that attending Diné College’s Summer Bridge Program (SBP) would be a way to get a leg up on acquainting himself with college.

The decision was one that paid off for the Wheatfields, Ariz., native and junior at Rehoboth Christian School just outside Gallup.

The first session of SBP ended June 20 and the second session runs from July 13 to July 19. The program represents the introduction to the hardline as it relates to college life. Implemented in 2008, it’s a program meant for junior and senior high school students and includes meals and boarding and fees at Diné College’s main campus in Tsaile.

“I found out about it from my grandmother who used to work there (Diné College),” Yazza, 16, said. “It was everything I expected it to be. I really found out about a lot of things that you need to know about if you plan on going to college.”

Yazza said when it comes time to apply to colleges and universities, Diné College is definitely a consideration. He said he wants to pursue a career as a general surgeon. He said he found the SBP session components on remedial education, financial aid, scholarships and tuition particularly useful.

Diné College is on my List’

Vershauna Long, 16, is a senior at South Sevier High School in Monroe, Utah. She said she wants to go to college next year, but is unsure where, adding, “Diné College is on my list.”

Like Yazza, Long, too, found out about the annual SBP from her mother — who saw SBP’s flyer on the Diné College Facebook page.

“I thought it was very helpful for people who want to learn more about college life,” Long said. “I’m graduating next year, so it was very helpful for me.”

Long, who is originally from Kaibeto, Ariz., said she wants to study psychology in college, saying the impetus to do so was influenced by one of the peer mentors at SBP.

Successful and Impactful’

Reeverson Descheny, an Arizona State University graduate and the director of career advancement at Diné College, oversees SBP. He called the first session impactful and successful. He said SBP is a way to keep students’ minds engaged while still having fun.

“Diné College Summer Bridge allows participants early access and exposure to campus life and resources,” Descheny explained. “It allows the participants to build and create a unique support system with college staff, faculty, administrators and peer mentors and to learn the necessary skills required for post-secondary education.”

Descheny said the 10 students that participated in the first SBP session took part in presentations at the Tsaile campus relevant to the Land Grant Office, the Office of Admissions, Advising and Counseling, Residential Life, the Student Success Center and Student Union Building and took excursions to the Shiprock campus and Canyon de Chelly. Diné College operates six campuses in Arizona and New Mexico.

Descheny noted that (Tsaile’s) IHS gave presentations last year and again this year.



Marie R. Etsitty Nez 
Vice President of External Affairs

George Joe, M.A., M.Ed, Director Of Marketing and Communications

Bernie DotsonPublic Relations Officer

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