The Puente Project is a national award-winning program that has improved the college-going rate of tens of thousands of California's educationally underrepresented students since 1981.
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. The program is interdisciplinary in approach, with writing, counseling, and mentoring components.
Started in 1981 at Chabot Community College in Hayward, California, the program has since expanded to 4 middle schools, 38 high schools and 65 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 have benefited approximately 300,000 students across the state. Puente is open to all students.
The Puente program provides 3 components:
Puente students begin the Fall semester with English 101 College Reading and Composition I and a supplemental co-requisite course English 107B. After students successfully pass English 101, students take English 102 College Reading and Composition II. Both of these courses are required to transfer to a University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU).
With the addition of the English Courses. Puente students take two consecutive counseling courses. In the fall, students enroll in Counseling 20 Scope of Career Planning. After students successfully pass Counseling 20, students take Counseling 17 College Survival Skills Development. Both of these courses are transferrable to the UC and CSU institutions. Students are also required to meet with the Puente counselor until they graduate. The counselor will create a comprehensive educational plan for each student to make sure the student transfer to a four-year university.