The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

Puente Project opens doors to success

Puente Project is not just another club on campus, but a class that helps students reach their educational and career goals.

It started in 1982 at Chabot College where it has since grown to other community colleges and has existed on the EC campus for 18 years.

“It (Puente Project) is a transfer preparation program,” Puente’s English coordinator Barbara Jaffe said.

“We concentrate in giving students English writing skills, counseling and mentoring,” Jaffe said.

Members are expected to take English A in the fall and English 1A in the spring semester in order to fulfill their English requirement.

“Students need to be prepared to meet in outside activities, they have to be more than an ‘A’ student, and have a large time commitment,” Jaffe said.

Former member of the Puente Project, Teresa Guillen, was an active member in Puente 13 and served in the years 1998-99; she has nothing but fond memories of her time spent in the Puente Project.

“I really liked it because it was more like a family than a regular class,” Guillen said. “It is interactive, we worked together in groups and the professors were very supportive.”

She also enjoyed the “personal one-on-one attention” she received from professors and the moral support she and the other members received.

“It (Puente Project) is open to anyone,” Jaffe said. “A lot of the time we get students through referrals of past Puente members or through word of mouth.”

Puente Project also helps students transfer to a university by organizing tours to many CSUs and UCs and having guest speakers from different universities talk to the students.

“Our students have more opportunities to get into the Honors Transfer Program, have mentors and are assigned their own counselor from the time they begin the program to when they transfer,” Jaffe said.

Guillen had the chance to meet and to network with a lot of different people that helped guide her in what she wanted to do.

“The best part is that we had prior Puente Project members who served as mentors to us and helped us,” Guillen said. “We also had a lot of moral support from the campus and Puente itself.”

Any student may be part of Puente Project, so long as he or she is willing to put their time and effort into the program.

“The success rate is very high for our students,” Jaffe said. “We also award scholarships each year where we have about eight or nine recipients.”

About 35 students apply to Puente each year; which comes as no surprise, since it is strongest at EC then at any other campus in the entire state.

“I made a lot of friends (working with the Puente Project) that I still have to this day,” Guillen said. “It (Puente Project) helps in the transition from high school to a community college.”

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