Castleman and Page's research suggests what the UA already recognized: that up to 40% of low-income students who are accepted to college and intend to enroll do not actually attend in the fall. Summer Melt dedicates a chapter to The Urban Assembly's response to this concern, our Bridge to College program.

We are excited to share that The Urban Assembly's Bridge to College program, created and directed by UA Director of College Readiness Ritu Sen, is featured in a newly released book - Summer Melt: Supporting Low-Income Students Through the Transition to College by Benjamin L. Castleman and Lindsay C. Page and published by Harvard Education Press.

Castleman and Page's research suggests what the UA already recognized: that up to 40% of low-income students who are accepted to college and intend to enroll do not actually attend in the fall. Summer Melt dedicates a chapter to The Urban Assembly's response to this concern, our Bridge to College program. Bridge to College, developed and refined since 2009, is a youth-driven, peer-mentoring program. Its goal is to ensure our high school graduates, a majority of whom live in poverty and are the first in their family to apply to college, successfully matriculate to college.

The chapter titled "With a Little Help from My Friends: Peer Mentors Offer Summer Support" features Yabielis Guerrero (Yabi), a 2010 alumnus of The Urban Assembly Bronx School for Law, Government & Justice, a 2014 graduate of Skidmore College and a Bridge to College Coach/Program Replication Coordinator. Through Yabi's own high school to college transition story and that of other students, Castleman and Page describe the success of the UA program. As part of Bridge to College, the UA hires and trains College Coaches, who are UA school alumni currently enrolled in college. These coaches work with recent high school graduates to help them identify and overcome the many financial, logistical and personal difficulties faced during the transition from high school graduation to college matriculation.

Castleman and Page's research suggests what the UA already recognized: that up to 40% of low-income students who are accepted to college and intend to enroll do not actually attend in the fall. Summer Melt dedicates a chapter to The Urban Assembly's response to this concern, our Bridge to College program. Bridge to College, developed and refined since 2009, is a youth-driven, peer-mentoring program. Its goal is to ensure our high school graduates, a majority of whom live in poverty and are the first in their family to apply to college, successfully matriculate to college.


100 College Coaches from across NYC were trained through The Urban Assembly Bridge To College Replication.

The chapter titled "With a Little Help from My Friends: Peer Mentors Offer Summer Support" features Yabielis Guerrero (Yabi), a 2010 alumnus of The Urban Assembly Bronx School for Law, Government & Justice, a 2014 graduate of Skidmore College and a Bridge to College Coach/Program Replication Coordinator. Through Yabi's own high school to college transition story and that of other students, Castleman and Page describe the success of the UA program. As part of Bridge to College, the UA hires and trains College Coaches, who are UA school alumni currently enrolled in college. These coaches work with recent high school graduates to help them identify and overcome the many financial, logistical and personal difficulties faced during the transition from high school graduation to college matriculation.

"These are vulnerable students. I tell them my story as well. I need to show empathy, that I understand where they are coming from. They also need to understand me. Students often don't understand what they are being told. I was helping them to get to college, and they needed to understand that."

Yabielis Guerrero, UA Bronx School For Law, Government & Justice Alumnus and Bridge to College Replication Manager

Our College Coaches help their students with everything from settling a bill with the Bursar's Office to figuring out how to get to campus for the first day of classes. As Yabi describes, "These are vulnerable students. I tell them my story as well. I need to show empathy, that I understand where they are coming from. They also need to understand me. Students often don't understand what they are being told. I was helping them to get to college, and they needed to understand that."

In total, over 1,000 UA students were served in 2014 by 15 UA College Coaches. Through Bridge to College, UA has achieved a consistent 75% college matriculation rate for its alumni within six months of graduation, and nearly 80% within one year of graduation.

The Urban Assembly Bridge to College Team - Summer 2014

The Urban Assembly continued its replication of Bridge to College in 2014 with partners CUNY At Home in College and the College Bound Initiative. As part of the replication, the UA trained 100 College Coaches from across NYC in May and June of 2014, serving over 50 high schools outside of The Urban Assembly's own 15 schools. These 100 Bridge to College Coaches provided support to nearly 12,000 NYC high school students in the summer of 2014.

Bridge to College is funded by The Clark Foundation, The Shippy Foundation, The Charles Hayden Foundation and through the generosity of our diverse community of supporters.