As a designated Hispanic-Serving Institution, Community College of Aurora doesn’t let language barriers prevent students from succeeding. CCA’s commitment to students starts at the beginning of their higher education career, the enrollment process.
CCA’s Summer Bridge Program is a two-week event where students and staff guide new students through the enrollment process. Teresa De Orrantia said the program was so helpful that she may have not been able to enroll without attending the Summer Bridge Program.
Teresa De Orrantia
“I was confused and lost,” Orrantia said about the beginning of the enrollment process. This summer bridge program made the process easier and smoother.”
Working as a Spanish-to-English interpreter, Orrantia helps members of the community who only speak Spanish navigate through the medical field, schools, and community events. As someone who was born in Dallas and spent some time growing up in Mexico, Orrantia uses her multicultural and multilingual skills to help overcome language barriers.
The Summer Bridge Program at CCA includes Spanish-speaking members who can help students overcome translation issues. At CCA, more than 30 percent of the student population identifies as Latinx, and about 1 in 16 students who graduate are Latinx students. To accommodate the diverse student population, CCA uses a Title V Grant on events like the Summer Bridge Program.
“They had workshops that were focused on academic career success. Other workshops were focused on personal development, some on financial education,” Orrantia said. “All of these workshops were beneficial to me.”
As a student who is paying for college strictly through scholarships, Orrantia said the workshops helped her gather and submit all requirements before deadlines.
“The people in the workshops would tell us these are deadlines, here are the websites, if you have any questions or concerns, here is my contact information,” she said. “I had a doubt in the beginning of the enrollment process that I could make this work. The Summer Bridge Program made it easier, maybe if it wasn’t for this I didn’t know I could keep moving on, but I had all of the resources to help me get through the enrollment process.”
Orrantia’s dream is to open a non-profit organization that provides services for victims in domestic violence, especially those who cannot get the support they need because of language barriers.
“I want it to be an organization that is there for them through the whole process,” Orrantia said of her career goals. Orrantia is getting one step closer to her dream with classes at CCA.
To learn more about the Summer Bridge Program, click HERE.