What is the Bridge Project?

The Bridge Project is a summer intensive and year-long program of support designed to assist first-year students in building academic confidence and cultivating a sense of belonging as they enter into CIIS' unique educational culture. Serving a diverse and global community, the Bridge Project will connect students with a supportive cohort of peers, mentors, faculty, and advisors through writing workshops, diversity and social justice modules, field trips to San Francisco venues, and social events. All programs are free to participating students. 

What will I (as a student entering CIIS) gain from participating in the Bridge Project?

As a participant in this dynamic Bridge Project initiative, you will:

  • Gain assistance with transitioning into a new city and educational environment
  • Join a supportive cohort of 30 first-year students
  • Hone foundational writing, research, and classroom communication skills
  • Cultivate resilience, belonging, and academic confidence, as you gain tools for thriving during your time at CIIS
  • Participate in community-building workshops, San Francisco field trips, and welcome mixers
  • Connect with mentors, peers, and advisors who will support you throughout your time at CIIS
  • Receive a Certificate of Completion for completing the Bridge Project during a closing ceremony honoring your work

Dates and Modules 2017

Aug 14 - Aug 18, 10-3pm: International Student Summer Bridge Writing Intensive. This two-week writing intensive is geared specifically for the international student community. International students will have the opportunity to engage academically and connect socially with other new CIIS international students. The program is designed to challenge you intellectually, sharpen your academic writing skills, and give you an early orientation and introduction to the University and program expectations and culture. For all of these reasons, CIIS requires all incoming international students participate in the Summer Bridge Program as part of the International Student Orientation on  August 15th.

August 15, 4pm-7pm: New International Student Orientation

August 18, 6-8:30pm: Bridge Welcome Party (in Lobby). A celebratory launch event for all students participating in the Bridge Project, complete with music, dancing, gifts, food, and guest visitors from the CIIS community.

Aug 19-20, 10am-5pm: BAC and Bridge Program Writing and Diversity Intensive. A writing, diversity, and social awareness intensive for working students, first generation college students, returning adult learners, and historically underrepresented students. Similar to the writing intensive for international students, this module will prepare incoming students for the types of writing required across academic programs at CIIS. This interactive, two-day workshop is designed to re-familiarize students with the critical reading, writing, and analytical skills that are the foundation for effective academic writing. We'll also engage in community-building activities to strengthen communication skills and classroom engagement.

Fall 2016 Workshops and Social Events. Over the course of the spring and fall semesters, Bridge staff will host a number of events. Possibilities include International Education Week, an evening with guest presenter, Eduardo Duran, and a Social / Movie Night.

Spring 2017 Workshops and Social Events. Spring events will include a group field trip and closing ceremony honoring the pilot Bridge cohort. Mentorship and assessment will occur across Fall and Spring semesters.

Ongoing Year-Long Support: Besides the above learning modules, students will work with advisors and peer mentors throughout the Bridge year, cultivating a sense of resilience, belonging, and confidence in their academic and professional skills. Possible support modalities will be individualized based on students' needs and professional goals, and may include:

  • Integrated academic support through CWS credit-based writing and research courses
  • Advising meetings with Bridge leadership and staffAn online Canvas community page with resources, tutorials, and videos
  • An online Canvas community page with resources, tutorials, and videos
  • Collaborating with faculty to integrate support modules and workshops in individual classes
  • Support for living and thriving within the context of the San Francisco Bay Area

For further information, please email bridge@ciis.edu.

The Bridge Leadership Team

Denise Boston, Dean of Diversity and Inclusion
Rachel Bryant, Director of the Mental Health Services Act Project
Michelle Eng, Dean of the School of Undergraduate Studies
Jody O'Connor, Associate Director, Student Affairs - International Student Recruitment and Services
Brynn Saito, Director of the Center for Writing and Scholarship

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