July 20, 2005
Contact: Joshua Hollis
BRIDGE Program proves good recruiting tool
COLUMBUS, Miss. – Fourteen of the 15 students
participating in this year’s BRIDGE Program, offered by
Mississippi University for Women’s Office of Diversity
Education and Programs, have decided to attend MUW in
The BRIDGE Program is a five-week residential program
for incoming minority freshman, in which they take
college courses and receive credit. If they decide to
attend MUW, the students receive a $1,000 scholarship.
Iika McCarter, director of diversity education and
programs, runs the BRIDGE Program. She said the
program’s main goal is “basically to give students a
preview of college before coming to college.”
The BRIDGE Program is very much similar to the summer
Pre-college Enrichment Program, except that it is
limited exclusively to minority students.
“My overall goal is to allow students to look at the W.
This year’s [goal] was to recruit students who were
[actively] looking at the college,” she said.
The BRIDGE Program was started in 1991 when the National
Science Foundation gave the Mississippi Alliance for
Minority Participation (MAMP) a grant for minority
students studying science and mathematics. The
universities given funds from MAMP were to get the
programs up and running and slowly make them
self-sustaining, in that they no longer used government
McCarter said the students are gradually “getting used
to each other,” adding that the program is “progressing
Shannon Blevins, the student director for the BRIDGE
Program, said he came to MUW through the BRIDGE Program
and jumped at the opportunity to serve as a counselor.
He said he wanted to “give back to someone else the
benefits that I had received from being in BRIDGE.”
His responsibilities include escorting the students to
class and accompanying them to lunch and their community
service activities. He also plans the students’ daily
recreational activities and study sessions.
Blevins said he hopes “the students will gain a sense of
survival and an understanding of the characteristics
that they will need to possess in order for them to be
successful in their college career.”
The students participating are from West Point, the Gulf
Coast, Jackson, Tupelo and some areas in Alabama.