September 4, 2015 – Massasoit Community College recently wrapped up its Summer Bridge program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s College Access Challenge Grant (CACG). The program gives low-income, first-generation students from Brockton and Randolph the opportunity to enroll in a free Math or English course. Students also participate in a comprehensive college readiness program. This year, 24 students participated in the Summer Bridge program; all are enrolled for the 2015 fall semester at Massasoit.

“The majority of our Summer Bridge students are from alternative high schools in Brockton, including the Edison Academy, the Pathways Center, Brockton Champion High School, and the Goddard Alternative School,” said Cecilia DeOliveira, CACG coordinator. “The program gave students the opportunity to take their first steps towards advancing their education, and also gave them a chance to get a head start on their coursework at Massasoit.”

Through Ms. DeOliveira’s efforts, Massasoit now runs a transitional English as a Second Language class at Edison Academy. This class targets English language learners who will graduate from high school, but whose language skills might limit their potential success in college. Additionally, developmental math and English classes are running at Randolph and Brockton High Schools as well as the Pathways Center. Ms. DeOliveira also hosts on-the-spot admissions at local high schools and meets with students to assist them in college and financial aid planning.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, “The purpose of the College Access Challenge Grant Program (CACGP) is to foster partnerships among federal, state, and local governments and philanthropic organizations through matching challenge grants that are aimed at increasing the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education.”