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Bridges to the Future Program Fosters Student Success

Oceanside CA— Five former scholars have earned their master’s degrees, three are currently in grad school, and one is entering clinical practice after attaining a doctor of osteopathy. What do they all have in common? The Bridges to the Future Program.

Since 2002, the MiraCosta College Bridges to the Future Program has supported 98 bridges scholars; of these, 79 have successfully transferred to four-year institutions. Sixteen former MiraCosta bridges scholars have also gone on to pursue post-graduate degrees. Of the 16, so far, three have earned doctorates and another five are currently in doctoral programs.

These numbers reflect the remarkably successful, multifaceted approach of the Bridges to the Future Program in supporting exceptionally qualified students as they achieve their educational goals.

“Before I joined the program, I had no idea earning a doctorate degree would even be in my realm of possibilities,” said Megan Machamer, a 2013 MiraCosta College graduate and former Bridges scholar. “I’m not sure I would have had the opportunities or the determination to accomplish all that I have without the dedication and help of the MiraCosta College mentors and faculty. I feel I owe much of my educational success to them.”

Machamer will graduate from UC San Diego in spring 2015 and plans on starting her doctorate degree in the fall of 2015.

The MiraCosta College Bridges to the Future program is sponsored by a National Institute of Health (NIH) grant held by the Office for Training, Research and Education in the Sciences (OTRES) at Cal State San Marcos. The goal of the Bridges to the Future Program is to support the successful transfer of community college students from ethnicities traditionally underrepresented.

The program provides academic support, educational enrichment, and research and leadership opportunities to students majoring in STEM fields and who want to pursue research careers.

Dr. Suzie Bailey, an instructor in MiraCosta College’s Biology Department is the current Bridges to the Future Program site coordinator. Dr. Bailey believes that having regular contact with an experienced faculty member assists students as they make their way through an overwhelming maze of prerequisites, transfer requirements, and deadlines.

“The high transfer and completion rates of our former scholars attest to the success of the Bridges to the Future Program, with a greater than 80 percent overall successful transfer rate since the program began in 2002, and greater than 95 percent successful transfer rate since 2008,” said Dr. Bailey.

The program also give students valuable leadership experience through service as officers for Club BioMed, engaging in undergraduate research, and participating in classes supported by supplemental instruction.

To apply for the Bridges to the Future Program, visit the Bridges to the Future Program website at www.csusm.edu/otres/Studentprograms/bridges.html and download the MiraCosta College application. For more information, contact the MiraCosta College Bridges to the Future Program, Dr.Suzie Bailey, at sbailey@miracosta.edu or call 760.757.2121 x 6562.

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