What is the Bridge Program?

The Bridge Program 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 will connect students to 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 program as a Bridge Scholar?

As a Bridge Scholar in this dynamic program, 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 2018:

All events for the Summer Bridge Program are held at 1453 Mission Street, San Francisco. Times and rooms to be determined.

Aug 6 - 16, 2018: 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 and attend the International Student Orientation.

Aug 14 & 16, 2018: Domestic Student 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. International Students in the daytime Summer Bridge program are also invited.

August 17, 2018: New International Student Orientation. This is a required orientation for all F-1 Student Visa holders and their dependents. We will review immigration rights and responsibilities, CIIS services and more. Please visit find information on MyCIIS. The International Student Advisor will be in touch with all incoming students over the summer.

August 17, 2018 evening: Bridge Welcome Party in CIIS First Floor Lobby. A celebratory launch event for all students participating in the Bridge, complete with music, dancing, gifts, food, and guest visitors from the CIIS community.

Fall 2018 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 2019 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 staff
  • 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
Michelle Eng, Dean of the School of Undergraduate Studies and Continuing Studies
Heidi Fraser, Director of the Center for Writing and Scholarship
Jody O'Connor, Associate Director, Student Affairs - International Student Recruitment and Services

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