The Puente Model

COM students in classroom

Statewide Puente Project

The Puente Project was co-founded in 1981 by Felix Galaviz, Counselor, and Patricia McGrath, English Professor, at Chabot College in Hayward. The co-founders were concerned about the high drop-out rate of Hispanic/Latino students on campus. They believed that the best hope of reversing this trend was to develop a system that would serve the needs of the whole student in a carefully monitored, highly accountable and culturally integrated way.

Puente's model was created on the assumption that any student, regardless of past performance, has the potential to succeed academically if provided with the right tools and learning environment. Therefore, Puente serves students from the full range of demonstrated ability levels. Puente’s model combines an academically challenging curriculum with a cross-functional support network of specially trained teachers and counselors, parents, families, and members of the local community. Puente is co-sponsored by the University of California and the California Community Colleges, with additional funding provided by the college.

Puente English Classes

Puente is especially successful in providing students with a strong foundation in critical thinking and expository writing – tools that will benefit the student in whatever endeavor he or she pursues. In our English classes, instructors work with students on critical reading, writing and thinking skills. An intense focus on writing and on the Chicano/Latino experience in literature, as well as other multicultural groups, make a class a stimulating and thought-provoking place to be.

Puente Counseling Course

College survival techniques are designed to increase the student's success in college. The Counseling Course will focus on assisting the student in developing practical study skills and cultural awareness to enhance academic success in college. Topics include but are not limited to: time planning, test taking, communication skills, study techniques and personal responsibilities, Latino cultural issues, motivation, optimism, self-empowerment, independence, assertiveness and writing skills.

Puente Mentoring

Over 4,000 professionals have been recruited and trained to serve as mentors to Puente students. Puente's mentors come from a wide variety of professions: doctors, teachers, judges, engineers, social workers, city officials, police officers, community organizers, and many others.