The results of an OSAS survey showed that over 70% of the students who responded wished for more opportunities to connect with other KRS students when they started college. The majority of them also said they wanted to learn more about their major’s requirements, campus resources, and career options.
KRS student Madison Cristobal said, “I really enjoyed participating in the KRS Summer Bridge! It was a great experience for me to meet new people with the same interests and become more comfortable in starting college. It really helped to clear things up for me and put me on the path to success.”
Based on the students’ feedback, OSAS created the KRS Summer Bridge Program. Over three days, students participated in campus tours, which included the Stan Sheriff Center and KRS facilities; engaged with their peers, university faculty, and guest speakers; and received small stipends for travel and meals.
“The KRS Bridge gave me a better understanding of my major and helped me know where my classes were going to be, but what I liked the most about it was all the friends I made,” said Marco Lugo.
Participants included 11 incoming students from Hawai‘i high schools, American Sāmoa, and Norway as well as six upper classmen from KRS who served as leaders. Extending beyond the summer, OSAS will check in regularly and hold get-togethers throughout the year for the students. Next year, they will be eligible to serve as bridge leaders for the 2020 program.
“We had a fun and busy three days!” OSAS Advisor Jolene Muneno said. “The students went on a campus scavenger hunt, learned about the history of Mānoa, and completed online modules designed to orient them to their major and help them identify their career matches. We hope to expand the summer bridge program as we monitor the effects of this pilot group on retention rates.”