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July 16, 2021

SIU’s Saluki Summer Bridge program helps new students transition to college successfully

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Saluki Summer Bridge is a unique, free two-week program that gives first-year students a head start toward college success as they participate in enrichment courses, leadership activities, check out the learning platforms utilized on campus and get acquainted with all SIU has to offer. They also connect with faculty, staff and administrators and meet other first-year students.

This summer, a group of 26 future Salukis is participating in the college transition program hosted by TRIO Student Support Services.   

Online, Zoom and more

The 2021 bridge program is set for July 18-30 and due to the pandemic, it’s happening virtually. The five enrichment courses, which are designed to let students know what to expect at SIU and provide them with the tools they need to succeed, will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, said Renada Greer, assistant dean of students and director of TRIO. The courses cover topics such as:

  • Communication across Cultures.
  • Emotional Intelligence.
  • Understanding Diversity.
  • College Success 101.
  • Self-Care for College Students.

The format will combine online and Zoom formats. Each evening, virtual events and activities will give participants a chance to meet campus administrators, including Chancellor Austin Lane, and to connect with current SIU students.

New facet

This year’s Saluki Summer Bridge is expanding, as well, Greer notes. In order to make the connections a little more personal, participants together as a group will attend some of the fun fall semester Saluki Start-up and Weeks of Welcome events, such as Light Up the Lake, Saluki Kick-off, Saluki Spirit Zone and the Chancellor’s Welcome Fest.