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July 15, 2022

SIU’s Saluki Summer Bridge program paves the way, helping new students transition to college

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Saluki Summer Bridge 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.

During the special, free two-week program they will also engage in leadership activities, connect with faculty, staff and administrators, learn about student employment opportunities and meet other first-year students. This summer, a group of about 20 future Salukis will participate in the college transition program hosted by TRIO Student Support Services.   

“Since its inception in 2013, Saluki Summer Bridge has helped students successfully transition to our campus by providing them with a multitude of benefits,” said Renada Greer, assistant dean of students and director of Trio Programs. “The program helps students feel a greater connection to the campus community, it fosters early positive relationships with faculty and staff, it promotes student engagement and involvement and improves the overall undergraduate student experience and retention.”

Online, Zoom and more

The 2022 bridge program is set for July 18-29 and 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.

The format will combine online and Zoom formats. The courses cover topics including:

  • Interpersonal Communication.
  • Self-Branding for Success.
  • Emotionally Intelligent Leadership.
  • Communication Across Cultures.
  • Professional Development 101.

Each evening, virtual events and activities will give participants a chance to meet campus administrators, including Chancellor Austin Lane and Jennifer Jones-Hall, dean of students, as well as to connect with current SIU students.

Resumes in August

Although the program wraps up in July, in order to make the connections a little more personal and provide ongoing support, Summer Bridge participants will attend some of the fun fall semester Saluki Start-up and Weeks of Welcome events together. This year’s schedule is still being finalized, but the 2021 participants enjoyed attending events such as Light Up the Lake, Saluki Kick-off, Saluki Spirit Zone and the Chancellor’s Welcome Fest together, Greer said.