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The mission of the Puente Program is to increase the number of educationally underserved students who enroll in four-year colleges and universities, earn their degrees, and return to the community as leaders and mentors to future generations.



The PUENTE Project is a national award-winning program that for more than 30 years has improved the college-going rate of tens of thousands of California's educationally underrepresented students. Its mission is to increase the number of educationally disadvantaged students who enroll in four-year colleges and universities, earn college degrees and return to the community as mentors and leaders to future generations.

Started in 1981 at Chabot Community College in Hayward, California, the program has since expanded to 3 middle schools, 36 high schools and 61 community colleges throughout the state. PUENTE staff train middle school, high school and community college instructors and counselors to implement a program of rigorous instruction, focused academic counseling, and mentoring by members of the community. PUENTE's staff training programs currently benefit approximately 14,000 students across the state. PUENTE is open to all students.

The PUENTE Project is an inter-segmental program that is co-sponsored by the University of California and the California Community College Chancellor's Office. The Program headquarters are at UC Berkeley and site team partners — consisting of an instructor and counselor at each school/campus site — help to implement the program at middle schools, high schools and community colleges across the state.

Adriana Burkhart Ed.D.,
Director, 951-736-5140

Cindy Bargar,
Clerk, 951-736-5140


For more information, visit the official Puente Project website here

Interested in joining Puente? The following criteria can help you decide if the program is right for you:

  • Not involved with another program (AVID or STEM)
  • Motivated and eager to learn
  • Wants to attend a 4 year university immediately out of high school
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