Fighting "Summer Melt"

Summer Bridge was launched to safeguard UA students against the challenges that arise between high school graduation and college enrollment. After several years of testing different approaches, the UA has created a youth-driven program that addresses the common pitfalls our students face throughout the summer. These pitfalls can be generally categorized into: financial aid issues, lingering registration paperwork, and social and emotional barriers to matriculation. In its latest iteration, our Summer Bridge program connects UA high school seniors to college and career opportunities after graduation.

Summer Bridge Coach

The Summer Bridge Program deploys UA alumni, called Bridge Coaches, to identify and respond to financial, logistical and personal difficulties our UA high school graduates face in the transition from high school to college. College Coaches start in May, making presentations and leading workshops in their UA alma mater school in the spring, both as a way to share 'college knowledge' and as a way to build relationships with graduating seniors. In total, nearly 1,400 UA students were served in 2019 by 19 UA college coaches.

Because of the previous success of our Summer Bridge program, the Urban Assembly has been replicating this program with our partners in the field, including the NYCDOE, CUNY, the College Bound Initiative, and New Visions. As part of the replication, the UA help train college coaches from across NYC in May and June. The dissemination of our program contributed to the creation of College Bridge for All (CB4All), a partnership between the NYCOE and CUNY to provide summer Bridge supports to high schools across the district.

Urban Assembly Results

Through the Bridge to College Program, 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.

When you deal with someone your own age versus an adult, you say more of what you need. The student can connect with you. Their counselors did all of this [college-transition processes] so long ago. [Bridge To College Coaches] can tell [students] about recent experiences.

Bridge to College Coach