Porterville College

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Puente

Puente at Porterville College

On behalf of the Puente Project and Porterville College, we would like to welcome you to our Puente familia. We have the goal of creating leaders for the next generation. As a team, we believe in our students' potential and ability to achieve their academic and career goals. The Puente Project at Porterville College is here to help you build the skills you need to succeed in college and in your future career. As part of an award-winning statewide program, we provide academic, counseling and mentoring services for educationally underrepresented students. Once you enroll in the Puente program, you will work closely with your Counselor, English Instructor, Math Instructor, and Mentor to prepare for transfer to a four-year college or university.

Our Mission

Puente means "bridge" in Spanish. The Puente Project is a national award-winning program that for 40 years has improved the college-going rate of tens of thousands of California's educationally underrepresented students.

Puente’s mission is to increase the number of educationally underrepresented students who enroll in four-year colleges and universities, earn degrees and return to their communities as leaders and mentors to future generations. Puente is open to all students.

What Puente Offers Students

Counseling Services:

  • Counseling courses to assist the student with college success strategies, transfer options, career exploration, decision-making, and study and leadership skills
  • Assistance with transfer applications, letters of recommendation, and financial aid processes
  • Campus liaison services, including ongoing communication with university personnel
  • College trips and conferences to various universities including California (UC) campuses

English Instruction:

  • Enrollment in two English courses
  • Develop and enhance reading and writing skills
  • Focus on building your academic and leadership skills
  • Explore the work of great Hispanic/Chicano leaders who assisted in reshaping the world

Math Instruction: Enrollment in a college-level statistics course. This course helps students get more comfortable with interpreting numbers and sets of data. It allows for data to be organized and described in a way that relates to students lived experiences.

Mentoring: Each Puente student is matched with a mentor from the community. Mentors share with students their personal, academic, and career experiences, and provide a window into "real-life" work environments. The network of trained Puente mentors provides many resources for Puente students, their families, their colleges, and the community.

Origins of Puente

Puente was founded in 1981 by the Co-directors, Felix Galaviz and Patricia McGrath at Chabot Community College in Hayward, California. The program has since expanded to 4 middle schools, 38 high schools, and 65 community colleges throughout the state. Puente staff train middle school, high school, and community college instructors and counselors to implement a program of rigorous instruction, focused academic counseling and mentoring by members of the community. Puente's staff training programs have benefited approximately 300,000 students across the state.

Its mission is to increase the number of educationally disadvantaged students who enroll in four-year colleges and universities, earn college degrees, and return to the community as mentors and leaders to future generations. The program is interdisciplinary in approach, with writing, counseling, and mentoring components. Puente is open to all students.

Puente has seen great results including:

  • More than 5,500 community college students have enrolled in the Puente Project statewide
  • More than 2,000 professionals donate more than 18,000 hours to help Puente students annually
  • An estimated 200,000 non-Puente students have benefited from Puente’s staff development programs
  • Community colleges with Puente programs transfer 44 percent more Latino students to the University of California than colleges without Puente