The future lies within us. We have the power to shape our dreams.
Puente Project Mission Statement
The mission of the Puente Project is to increase the number of educationally underserved students who enroll in four-year colleges and universities, earn degrees, and return to the community as leaders and mentors to succeeding generations.
Puente Project History
Puente was founded in 1981 by the Co-directors, Felix Galaviz and Patricia McGrath, at Chabot College in Hayward, California. The program mission was to increase the number of Mexican-American and Latino community college students who transferred to four-year colleges and universities. As an outgrowth of its success as a community college program, Puente was awarded funding in 1993 to replicate the program in 18 California high schools. Puente is open to all students.
- Succeed academically
- Are recognized as leaders and scholars
- Graduate from four-year colleges and universities
- Belong to a statewide network of leaders and professionals
The Puente Program
Many components work together to prepare Puente students to transfer to four-year colleges and universities:
- English Instruction Puente students take two consecutive writing classes, English 100 and English 1A. These classes provide a supportive and stimulating environment for Puente students to build confidence in their writing skills through an exploration of the Mexican American/ Latino experience.
- Counseling Puente students work closely with their Puente counselor until they graduate, exploring career options, developing an academic educational plan and identifying lifetime goals. Students visit University of California and California State University campuses and attend an annual Puente student transfer conference.
Puente students are matched with mentors from the business or professional community. Mentors share with students their personal, academic and career experiences, and provide a window into "real life" work environments. The network of trained Puente mentors provides many resources for the Puente students, their families, their colleges, and the community.
- Over 7,000 students have enrolled in the Puente community college program
- Over 2,500 professionals donate over 18,000 hours annually to Puente students
- An estimated 200,000 non-Puente students have benefited form Puente's staff development programs
- Community colleges with Puente programs transfer 44 percent more Latino students to the University of California than colleges without Puente