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Lone Star College-North Harris hosts seven-week North Harris County Education Alliance Summer Bridge Math Program

Lone Star College-North Harris recently hosted the North Harris County Education Alliance Summer Bridge Math Program June 13 through July 28.

The Summer Bridge Math Program assists area high school students to overcome the barriers that otherwise would keep them from taking and succeeding in math courses at a college-level this fall. This seven-week program allowed a group of 29 students from the Aldine and Spring Independent School Districts to take one of two math classes: MATH 0310 or MATH 1314. Each of the courses were taught by LSC-North Harris instructors, with Aldine and Spring ISD math instructors serving as facilitators.

“Our goal is to provide students with opportunities and resources to be successful,” said North Harris County Education Alliance Program Manager, Ashley Askew. “We wanted to create a program that helps students transition from high school to college, assist them with the challenges of math and prepare them to be successful college students.”

In addition to the math preparation courses, students also took a student success course, EDUC 1300. This course is designed for students who want to enhance their first-year college experience, leading them on a path to achieve academic and personal success.

“Although our main focus is math, this year we added the EDUC 1300 course. The premise behind this addition was to help with the transition from high school to college and teach students how to succeed in college,” added Askew.

“This program is a great opportunity and taught me a lot of things. For example, in my math class I am learning things that I didn’t pick up on in high school and now I’m putting it together. I feel that the EDUC 1300 class is teaching me more about college and what I really want to do with my life during and after college. It is great and it should continue in the future years,” said student Alan Ford.

Guest speakers Dana Esposito and Linda Leon from Communities in Schools and LSC-North Harris career counselor, Dr. Jack Hernandez talked to students about important topics for college students such as time management, exploring majors and careers and how to succeed in accomplishing your academic goals. As an additional incentive, there were weekly drawings for gift cards to help encourage students to put the skills that they have learned into action.

For many students, paying for college or even for a preparation class is a hardship. Often, students want to better themselves and move forward with their educational goals, but coming up with how to pay is a constant struggle.

Most do not realize that there are programs out there to help students make the financial burden a little bit easier on them. Programs like Summer Bridge are a great way for students to get their foot in the door, to help them get the assistance they need to help attain those goals.

Thanks to a $10,000 grant from The United Way of Greater Houston and the generosity of Spring ISD Education Foundation, Labor One Staffing, Houston Northwest Chamber of Commerce, Flexicrew, Vanya Martin and many other sponsors, this program was possible. The Summer Bridge program has made a major impact on the lives of these students not only this summer, but in helping prepare them to take the next step on their life journey.              

“The transition from high school graduation into college can be difficult, especially for first generation college students,” said Anna M. Babin, president and CEO of United Way of Greater Houston. “United Way invests in college bridge programs to provide students with the academic skills and social support they need to succeed. In 2015, 96 percent of United Way students who enrolled in college courses after completing a bridge program persisted through their first semester and enrolled in the spring 2016. We are looking forward to seeing our 2016 scholars have a successful fall semester.”

The majority of students in the program were awarded full-scholarships, including tutoring, books and meals during the school day.

Student Asia Elam said, “One of the things I like best about taking this program is there isn’t any money coming out of my pocket, and for that, I’m very thankful.”

“Our goals for next year include doubling the number of students who participate in the program, putting more emphasis on students applying for summer financial aid and increasing the number of community partnerships to help support the program,” said Askew. “When businesses and organizations invest in this program, they are investing in the future of the community. With their help, the North Harris County Education Alliance can help create successful students, productive citizens and thriving communities.”

For more information about the Summer Bridge Math Program visit LoneStar.edu/NHCEA or contact Ashely Askew at 281.618.5462.

Lone Star College-North Harris is located at 2700 W.W. Thorne Drive, one-half mile south of FM 1960 East, between Aldine-Westfield and Hardy Roads. For more information about the college, call 281.618.5400 or visit LoneStar.edu/NorthHarris.

Known for its leadership, innovation and steadfast commitment to student success, Lone Star College provides high-quality academic transfer and workforce education / career training programs to more than 83,000 credit students each semester, and a total enrollment of 95,000 students. LSC is training tomorrow’s workforce today and redefining the community college experience to promote student success and economic prosperity. Stephen C. Head, Ph.D., is the chancellor of LSC, the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area, which consists of six colleges, eight centers, two university centers, Lone Star Corporate College and LSC-Online. To learn more visit LoneStar.edu.