Monday, August 6, 2012

UVI’s Bridge Programs are Leading More Students to Campus

Colette Jones, left, is pictured with her daughter Lynique Registe following the Summer Bridge Closing Ceremony on July 25, on UVI’s St. Thomas campus. 
After putting off pursuing a college degree for almost 30 years, a small ad in the newspaper gave Colette Jones the sign she had been waiting for. A few lines of text described a newly formed Non-traditional Bridge Program at the University of the Virgin Islands.

“I had been thinking about it,” Jones said about starting college. She called the number, signed up for the program and is amazed at her progress so far. The 10-week program for students who delayed enrolling in college after high school or after earning a GED, offers on-campus academic sessions designed to prepare them for the University’s placement tests. Interactive sessions focus on personal development and participants learn to access and navigate UVI’s wide range of resources. 

 That one step for Jones has had a positive impact on her entire family. Two of Jones’ children – Lynique and Levi Registe – attended the St. Thomas campus bridge informational session with their mother. Lynique was a 12th grader at the time. She was excited to learn about a bridge program for students like her – who would be fresh out of high school. Lynique recently completed UVI’s Summer Bridge program for traditional students. She will begin classes at UVI in August. Levi joined the Non-traditional Bridge Program with his mom.

Jones explained that balancing a full-time job, taking care of a family and attending the academic sessions are challenging, but she said one thing is sure: she will not give up.

At the Summer Bridge closing ceremony on July 25, UVI President Dr. David Hall called the program an investment, noting the institution’s commitment to the preparation and success of students. “I’m just so excited and humbled that we were able to make this a reality,” he said of the Summer Bridge program.

 “When you are successful the Virgin Islands will be successful,” Dr. Hall told participants. “The future of the Virgin Islands is really in your hands.”

The UVI Non-traditional and Summer Bridge Programs are available on both campuses.