The taproot of PUENTE'S Success is its professional development program for teachers and counselors. These trainings give them the tools to deliver PUENTE's threefold program of extensive writing instruction, sustained academic counseling, and personal mentoring. The project is administered through the University of California, with regional staff overseen by a statewide office that helps teachers and counselors meet
the needs of PUENTE students.

The Puente Model

The PUENTE experience comprises academic and personal mentoring programs for community college students and a college preparatory program for high school students

  • Puente enrolls students of ALL ethnicities.
  • Puente currently supports 61 community college and 34 high schools.
  • Puente works in 24 counties throughout California.

Engaging the Community

PUENTE develops partnerships with families, schools and communities throughout California, engaging them as stakeholders in the program's success.

PUENTE's efforts are critical to the state's future economy, which demands an educated workforce to remain competitive in the global landscape.

Frank Garcia

"PUENTE has developed a powerful and sustainable
model for education reform, resulting in a program
that links professional development with culturally
competent teaching, counseling and mentoring."

—Frank Garcia, Executive Director

"PUENTE has been very successful in meeting students
where they are, and maximizing their potential as they
go forward."

—Patricia Gándara, Puente Board Member


PUENTE Community College:

  • Community college students take a rigorous two-course English class sequence and a personal development class taught
    by a PUENTE-trained instructor and counselor.
  • The class provides a supportive environment with a focus on multicultural and Latino literature.
  • Students work closely with their PUENTE counselors to prepare an academic plan, focus on academic and professional goals,
    and transfer to a four-year university.
  • PUENTE's program of personal mentoring by professionals from their local area inspires students to return with college degrees
    to their communities, as leaders and mentors for the next generation.

PUENTE High school:

  • High school students stay with the same Language Arts teacher for 9th and 10th grades. They participate in a standards-aligned
    and culturally inclusive language arts curriculum that accelerates their growth, literacy and prepares them for college-level
    reading and writing.
  • High school students work closely with a PUENTE counselor to prepare and adhere to an academic plan focused on college readiness.
  • Students also take part in structured leadership activities that allow them to experience the value of life-long community
    service firsthand.