The mission of the Puente Program is to increase the number of educationally underserved students who will enroll in four-year colleges and universities, earn degrees, and return to the community as leaders and mentors of future generations.
Puente students take 9th and 10th grade Language Arts classes with the same teacher who utilizes the same pacing guides and curriculum of regular Language Arts classes but integrates Hispanic/Latino and other multicultural literature and culture into the core curriculum. An academic counselor, Germaine Halfhill, works closely with the Puente students all 4 years to assist them in:
- Selection of classes according to the a-g pattern of coursework required for admission to a university
- Development of short and long-term educational goals
- Facilitation of information for colleges and universities concerning testing, applications, financial aid, & scholarships
- Familiarity with colleges & universities thru campus visits
- Exposure to/interaction with various careers/professionals
- Leadership & mentoring opportunities which empower students for their future
Students are not selected by grades alone but by a variety of factors including motivation, effort, and the commitment of both students and parents. Students who have average (C) and even some below average (D) grades can be considered. Students benefit from a Language Arts class that enhances the required curriculum thru a focus on developing their writing ability--a highly valued skill transferable to other subjects and a leading factor in college admission and success in college.
The Puente Program is supported and funded by the University of California.