ASCEND Program

ASCEND Program

Achieving Success by Cultivating Excellence and Nurturing Discovery

Achieving Success by Cultivating Excellence and Nurturing Discovery (ASCEND) is an intensive six-week academic preparation and residential program created to increase college readiness and help ease the transition experience for incoming first-time full-time freshmen. The ASCEND Summer Bridge Program promotes and secures an environment where students will have an opportunity to grow personally, while they enhance their academic and leadership potential. By attending the program, students will gain exposure to the full range of resources and facilities that are made available to them by the University.

ASCEND will address the "summer learning gap" in an innovative way that helps students’ develop and integrate their academic, physical, social and emotional well-being, along with their environmental awareness and stewardship. The program is custom designed to provide academic enrichment, help build and transition students’ into college, and create a strong sense of team and belonging while enlarging each student's social-emotional toolbox to carry over into the new school year. The academic curriculum is complemented with engaging student activities where students have the opportunity to participate in special interest events such as: intramural sports, social activities, organized committees, a talent show, and more. Every year the program invites a keynote speaker who addresses a topic that is timely and extremely educational for our students. 

The program's finale includes the Annual ASCEND banquet where the professors recognize students for academic excellence for the duration of the program. 


  • Support students’ successful transition from high school to college. 
  • Prepare students’ for college-level work.
  • Develop and strengthen students’ connections with peers, mentors, advisors, faculty and staff.
  • Provide students with knowledge critical to success in college (e.g. study skills, time management, and campus life) 
  • Enhance students’ sense of belonging. 


  • Orientation to college and campus engagement 
  • Academic preparation and skills 
  • Academic support
  • Academic advising 
  • Peer mentoring 
  • On-Campus activities
  • Supplemental Instruction 


“My English class was my favorite experience in this whole program.  He gave me a reality check, in the nicest way possible. He taught me many things I never noticed.  He was very patient and understanding. I loved him and his class.”

“This [math] class has taught me more than high school.”

“I learned more in these 6 weeks than I learned in high school in 4 years”

“The best program ever to get used to college and get to know professors and upperclassmen”


Dr. Jessica Accurso-Salguero (
Vodra 143