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Bridge program assists students in transition to college

The Parthenon

Published: Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Updated: Tuesday, March 5, 2013 10:03

If you do not feel prepared for the challenge of college, you are not alone.  Studies have shown that students across the nation are not prepared for college and Marshall University is finding ways to help its students adjust to the strain of college.

The Marshall Summer Bridge Program is a two-week workshop for incoming freshman that are not eligible for the developmental, gateway, math or English classes based on their ACT and SAT scores.

“It’s for students to come in for a two-week crash course to get them through their remediation, take a placement test and get them to the gateway math or English,” Corley Dennison, associate vice president of Academic Affairs, said.

The program is free to students, and students also have the opportunity to stay on campus for free and take part in orientation. Marshall faculty members teach the courses.

Last summer, 188 incoming freshman took part in the first Summer Bridge program.  Dennison said Marshall started the program after about 40 percent of students in last year’s freshman class were placed in the remediation classes Math 098, Math 099 and English 099.

“We really tried to encourage students to come and take their remedial classes,” Dennison said.

According to, more than 2.2 million college freshman across America must take a remedial course to learn high school material, costing taxpayers $5.6 billion dollars to pay for the courses.  
Jordan Hancock, freshman primary education major from Milton, W.Va., and Carolyn Browning, freshman elementary education major from Milton, W.Va., said they were not prepared for college the first time around.

“Last time I didn’t take it very seriously,” Hancock said. “This time I feel better prepared because I know what I’m in for.” According to College at Home, four out of five students do not feel their K-12 education prepared them to pursue a degree in math or science. Dennison said most of the students in Summer Bridge are there for the math program.

Rebecca Sanders, freshman communications disorders major from Franklin Furnace, Ohio, said she felt her high school prepared her for college.

“I think high schools are changing their curriculum to more of a preparatory curriculum for college instead of a preparatory curriculum for life,” Sanders said.

College at Home also reported eight out of 10 high school graduates believe they are ready for college, yet only 56 percent of students pursuing a four-year degree graduate within six years.  
Marshall is hoping the Summer Bridge and other projects will help its students graduate on time and feel prepared for the road ahead.

The Summer Bridge Program will take place July 8-18 and July 22 through August 2.

Taylor Stuck can be contacted at


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