Program Gives High Schoolers a Slice of College Life
TSAILE, Ariz. — From everyday life on sheep farms, to growing up in small communities around the Navajo Nation, college is a big step for students who prefer cowboy boots to get them from here to there.
College is also a big step for students who didn’t acquire good study habits or put away funds. Such realities are commonplace around the Navajo Reservation — which encompasses parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.
To remedy potential shortcomings, Diné College is rolling out the 2018 Summer Bridge Program, a free one-week effort designed to inculcate high school juniors and seniors to college life. The program is coordinated in two sessions, one in June and another in July.
“This is a program that introduces students to all aspects of college life,” Reeverson Descheny, the Director of Career Advancement at Diné College, said. “When the students do decide on college, this gives them a well-rounded idea of what to expect.”
As part of the program, Descheny, an Arizona State University grad, said participants go through presentations and “table sessions” on advisement, student learning resources, computer labs, athletics, the college application process, financial aid, scholarships, residential life — and just everything college students experience.
There were 11 students that participated in the first session of the Summer Bridge Program and 23 are set to start the second one, which starts July 16. The first session began June 18.
The participants, who reside in Diné College dormitories during the length of the Summer Bridge Program, do not receive course credit toward high school graduation.
Diné College operates six campuses around the Navajo Nation and the Bridge Program includes an excursion to the Shiprock campus, Descheny said. Basically, students have the opportunity to explore college life and learn what it means to be a college student, Descheny said.