Building a Bridge to Improve Student Success continues to expand and now offers the following programs:
- On-campus enrichment days: The Bridge Project offers on-campus enrichment days for Middle School students from Bethel and Danbury in the fall and spring. Students participate in hands-on activities for math, science and writing.
- The Junior Meteorology Program: Middle school students from Bethel and Danbury participate in a program called "Junior Weather People," taught by Western meteorology students and supervised by Gary Lessor, Assistant Director of the Weather Center. The students attend weekly sessions, learn about weather forecasting and produce weather broadcasts in the state of the art Weather Center at WCSU.
- Hurricane Research program: Bethel and Danbury High School students may enroll in a Hurricane Research Program led by WCSU professor Dr. Albert Owino. The students meet weekly to prepare data charts, study weather systems and learn how hurricane researchers collect and report data.
- Tutoring Program: Select middle school students from Bethel and Danbury receive on-site tutoring from Western honor students. Students receive tutoring in the areas of Math, ESL and Language Arts. The tutoring provides remedial help and provides opportunity for the students to master the material and improve their grades.
- Placement Testing: Every spring high school juniors and seniors complete Westerns placement exams in Writing and Mathematics to determine where the student would place if they enrolled in college that semester. As a result, university and high school faculty modify curriculum and course selection to ensure high school seniors are ready for required coursework.
- Young Writers Conference: During the summer middle school and high school students have the opportunity to work with professional writers to hone their writing skills in a variety of genres, including science fiction, poetry, journalism, video game storylines, songwriting, flash fiction, screen writing and the college admissions essay. The conference culminates in a reading of the students work for an enthusiastic audience of family and friends. Participants are encouraged to submit their work to the WCSU Young Writers Conference Journal published and distributed at an autograph party in the fall.
- Camp College: Every August, middle school students from Bethel and Danbury attend full day workshops in Math, Biology, Chemistry and Writing. All programs are led by WCSU professors. Students have studied animal physiology, learned about CSI forensics and engaged in an "Excellent Bug Adventure" to learn about the ecology of insects or the magnificent "Spirals in Nature." These activities serve as fodder for writing classes where the students create poems, stories, and essays about their experiences.
- Professional development workshops: Through collaborative planning the Bridge workshops provide teachers from Bethel and Danbury as well as faculty from Western the opportunity to share best practices, try new teaching strategies, implement creative assessment ideas, modify curriculum to address Common Core Standards, develop a clear understanding of learning outcomes and encourage improved alignment.
- View photos from "Camp College" - Presentation by Mitch Wagener and Photographs by Peggy Stewart