Puente Program

Puente (Spanish for “bridge”) is a national award-winning program that helps students reach their dreams of college success. For more than 25 years, the Puente Program has improved the college-going rate of tens of thousands of California’s educationally underrepresented students. Established in 1996 at Cypress College, the mission of the Puente Program is to increase the number of educationally underserved students who enroll in four-year colleges and universities, earn college degrees, and return to the community as mentors and leaders to future generations. Co-sponsored by the University of California and the ­California Community Colleges, Puente is open to all students eligible for ENGL 101 C and COUN 150 C.

Puente’s interdisciplinary approach combines writing, counseling, and mentoring in a two-semester program.

  • ENGLISH — Puente students take ENGL 101 C to improve their written language skills, enhance their research methods, and develop critical thinking while exploring Latino issues in a supportive and stimulating environment.
  • COUNSELING — Puente students take two consecutive counseling classes, COUN 150 C and COUN 160 C, to improve their study skills, explore career options, develop an academic educational plan, and identify lifetime goals.
  • MENTORING — Puente students are matched with a Mentor from the college or professional community who shares her/his personal, academic, and career experiences to provide a window into “real life” work environments. Puente students also work with Peer Mentors, Puente Program graduates, who offer tutoring, guidance, support, and encouragement.
  • SPECIAL ACTIVITIES — Puente students participate in a number of events on and off-campus, including dinners, a graduation banquet, and guest speakers; field trips to the theater, museums, and bookstores; tours of universities and botanical gardens, and student-organized beach bonfires. These special activities are designed to enrich students’ educational, cultural, and social opportunities.

For more information on joining this award-winning program, please contact Dr. Therese Mosqueda-Ponce, Puente Counselor at (714) 484-7180 or tmponce@CypressCollege.edu or Prof. Kathryn Sonne at ksonne@CypressCollege.edu.