Berea Bridge

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Welcome to Berea! We are delighted that you’ve decided to become a Mountaineer.

We all recognize that your transition to college may be challenging in ways that you have not anticipated. In order to help you navigate those challenges, we designed a program that prepares you for all aspects of your life at Berea College. We like to think of it as a bridge that carries you over the potentially rough waters of early college life.

Berea Bridge, then, is guided by simple but important goals. As a program, we seek to expose you to Berea courses and academic expectations to prepare you for a successful transition during their first semester. We aim to foster curiosity, critical questioning, intellectual agency, and a strong work ethic. We’ll help you gain greater self-awareness and recognize the needs of others by teaching you to collaborate across difference.

We also aim to assist you in your transition to Berea by providing you with tools to navigate the non-academic challenges of college life by supporting your physical and emotional wellness. Our hope is that the Bridge program will enable you to meet the College’s challenges with the determination and perseverance necessary for success.

At the heart of Bridge is an open invitation to let your natural curiosity guide your study, both inside and outside the classroom, and to then passionately pursue answers to your questions with tenacity, invention, and imagination. All of us at Bridge can’t wait to support your Berea journey.

Warm regards,
Dr. Sarah Adams
Director, Berea Bridge

Bridge FAQs

Any traditional first-time college student who has been successfully admitted to Berea College is eligible to participate in Berea Bridge.

Students will arrive on Sunday, June 12 and leave on Saturday, July 9, 2022.

There is no cost to participate in Bridge.

There are a few new measures that have been put in place to guard against Covid-19. Mask wearing and social distancing are mandatory around campus, classrooms, and public spaces in the residence halls. Students will receive full guidelines when they arrive on campus, and you can review policies here.

Yes, to join us for Bridge 2022, you will need to have received both shots of one of the Covid-19 vaccines before arriving on campus and share that information with Student Life/White House Clinic in advance of your arrival. We will give you information about how to submit your evidence of vaccination.

Once you’ve received your second dose of the vaccine, please upload your verification here.

You can consult Student Life’s FAQ page for details about what is included in each residence hall room.

You’ll  want to be sure to bring:

  • Bedsheets or a sleeping bag
  • Toiletries
  • Activewear (e.g running shoes, comfortable shorts/t-shirts)
  • An umbrella or rain jacket and rain boots
  • Laundry supplies (e.g., detergent and dryer sheets) Note: Use of laundry facilities in the residence halls is free.
  • A bath towel and cheap plastic sandals to wear as “shower shoes.”

Many Bridge students have been happy they’ve brought:

  • Sunscreen and bug spray
  • Over the counter medications (e.g. Tylenol, band-aids, Neosporin)
  • An extension cord and a fan
  • A small reading light
  • Light snacks (e.g ramen, popcorn, granola bars)
  • Boots or sturdy footwear
  • A hat and sunglasses

Once a week, you will have the chance to order extra supplies from Walmart should you run out of something or discover you forgot to pack something. You can also order items online and have them delivered to your CPO mailbox on campus.

We’ll supply everything you need for class (notebooks, pens, textbooks, etc.), so don’t worry about packing school supplies. You can consult Student Life’s FAQ page and the Residential Living Guide for additional guidance about what is and isn’t allowed in the residence halls. Leave your candles, hot plates, and big appliances at home. Keep in mind, too, that you will not be able to store your belongings on campus after Bridge because of the in-depth cleaning of residence halls that happens over the summer. Whatever you move in at the start of Bridge will have to be moved back out and taken home once the month is over.

We can pick up Walmart orders once a week for you so that you can buy supplies as you need them (e.g., if you run out of shampoo or want to pick up baking supplies to make brownies with a friend). There are also several stores within walking distance a near campus that make for fun shopping trips with friends!

Not necessarily. We randomly assign roommates for Bridge; for the school year, however, you will have the option to either request a roommate or have a roommate randomly assigned to you. Many Bridge students do request to live with their Bridge roommate or another friend they make during the program, but that choice will be up to you. More information on how roommate requests for the fall term works can be found here.

No, student participants are not allowed to bring their cars for Bridge.

Everything you need for learning, dining, or joining in official program activities will be provided to you. Additionally, after move-in, students will receive a modest stipend that will help you cover any incidentals that you might need or a visit to the local ice cream shop with friends. For your work in the labor program during Bridge, you will receive a paycheck via direct deposit. You can find the pay schedule for summer labor positions here.

Because you’ll be taking classes, working in the labor program, and having fun, you’ll be  busy from about 8 am to 9 pm each day, so we ask that all Bridge students stay at Berea for the duration of the program. Your family, as long as they are fully vaccinated, may schedule visit with you on campus through Student Life.

For Bridge 2022, you’ll take two classes, one focused on the Humanities/Social Sciences and one focused on the Sciences/Quantitative Information. Each class will have 15 students in it and will be supported by a teaching assistant. You won’t have a choice in classes, but if you successfully complete both courses you’ll earn 1 elective credit toward graduation!

Students will find out their labor positions on the first day of the Bridge program. Bridge students work in typical Berea College labor positions: in Information Systems & Services, on the College Farm, in College Crafts, as Facilities Assistants in the residence halls, and so on. All Bridge students work up to 6 hours per week during the program.

While adjusting to the expectations of college-level academic work is the central feature of Berea Bridge, it’s only one part of what you’ll be doing during the month that you’re on campus. You’ll be eating meals in the dining hall, working a labor position, attending workshops, visiting different campus centers, participating in fun activities organized by your RAs, and even traveling off campus for some excursions into nature and/or area attractions. In downtime, Bridge students make their own fun, too: you might enjoy playing video or board games with friends, having a movie night in the residence hall lobby, gathering together to play music and sing, playing basketball at the gym, joining an informal bible study, or hiking on local trails.