Photo of Summer Bridge Student Morgan Runaas

Summer Bridge Student Morgan Runaas

All students, no matter how academically gifted, enter college with some trepidation; many are apprehensive about their ability to succeed. At UW-Green Bay, a Summer Bridge Program is helping put minds at ease, while helping UW-Green Bay live its core mission—access.

For Morgan Runaas, an entering freshman from Evansville, Wis. the program provided a growth opportunity and the confidence to enter the fall semester with dreams of success and a future in nursing.

“The most helpful part about the Bridge Program was the structure that it gave us,” she said, referring to her cohort of 30 students who accepted the invitation into the six-week program. “The Summer Bridge assistants were super helpful and knowing that I have them later on when the school year starts, gives me a good feeling. Matt, Vince, Adam, Ben, Krysta and my professors made the last six weeks go past quickly and I think that what they are doing here is amazing.”

The Summer Bridge Program is just one way that UW-Green Bay is living its mission, providing learning opportunities for all who want an opportunity to learn. In this program, students could “try on college,” earning six credits for completion of the program, at no expense to them.

According to Corey King, vice chancellor for Inclusivity and Student Affairs, the program goal is to provide students the opportunity to engage in learning experiences that help then cultivate their sense of belonging, discover their purpose, and develop the skills and perspectives to earn a degree or credential and positively impact their communities. In addition, the program provides structured time to study and complete academic assignments. Students have opportunities to connect with their peers and current UW-Green Bay students. And planned co-curricular activities assist students in learning more about transitioning to college.

“Student success is our No. 1 priority and the Summer Bridge Program allows us to live our access mission wholeheartedly,” says Provost Kate Burns. “We are strongly committed to serving the students of our region and helping them reach their educational goals. This means meeting students where they are and focusing on holistic student success both inside and outside the classroom. The Summer Bridge Program has been a productive collaboration between Academic Affairs and Student Affairs, and highlights that we all must work together to achieve student success.”

For students like Morgan, it’s all about confidence, and a brighter tomorrow as she prepares for a nursing track and a human biology minor.

“I feel so much better about going into the fall semester,” she says. “In the last six weeks I have gotten more comfortable on campus and built relationships with people who I can always go to in the school year if I have questions. I also feel like I have grown as a person in the little time that we have been here.”

Story by Sue Bodilly and photo by Dan Moore, Marketing and University Communication