Seminole State program helps students transition from high school to college

Summer Bridge is open to any 2023 Florida high school graduate

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – As high school graduation celebrations continue this month across Central Florida, many seniors look forward to beginning college in the fall.

Seminole State College of Florida, however, offers a program to ease the transition. It’s called the Summer Bridge and is open to any 2023 high school graduate who is a Florida resident.

“They can go into fall already having six credits completed, already knowing the lay of the land, already knowing where things are on campus, already being able to log into all of our platforms, and just feeling already a sense of belonging and maybe already being involved in clubs and organizations before their compadres get there in the fall,” said Carlee Walkover, manager of student retention and completion. “The rigor of college classes is a next-level thing for some of our high school graduates. So we love to give them the opportunity to do this as an easy stepping stone. They’re not taking four classes, they’re taking two.”

Walkover tells News 6 all students in the Summer Bridge are required to take First Year Experience Fightpath: Chart Your Course. She described it as an “intro to college” class.

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“How to take notes. How to learn themselves. How to choose a major. How to navigate the resources that are available to them as a student on our campus,” Walkover said.

She added that this program is geared toward incoming Seminole State students who are interested in earning an AA degree. However, students can choose from classes like English, speech, humanities, history and government, and those class credits would transfer to another university.

Walkover added that all students have access to embedded tutors and librarians and will be assigned a peer mentor.

“So it’s kind of like a built-in friend, where it’s someone who has been at Seminole State for a least a year, they have a 3.0 GPA and they’re usually involved in clubs and organizations to already build that bridge for these students to ease into fall ,where we hope they will be a full-time student, taking four of five classes and being right on pace to graduation,” she said.

And the best part?

“Did I mention books and tuition are covered? They’re of no cost to the student. That’s the best part of this program. All of the wrap-around support services are provided. The classes and books are free. And the students get that headstart and are 30% more likely to retain and complete their degree. So it’s a no-brainer,” Walkover said.

Walkover added there are still spots available for the Summer Bridge.

To apply, you must fill out an interest form by June 1. Then, you must provide proof of residency, complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and submit a final high school transcript before classes start June 21.

To learn more about the Summer Bridge program, visit Seminole State College online here.

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About the Author:

Julie Broughton's career in Central Florida has spanned more than 14 years, starting with News 6 as a meteorologist and now anchoring newscasts.