Each year since 1985, the Pan African Studies Department has participated in the Summer Bridge program. This six week residential program was designed to provide academically at-risk African American and Chicano/Latino students from the greater Los Angeles area with an intensive pre-college experience just prior to beginning their first semester at CSUN. Summer Bridge students earn University credit for either PAS 196 (Introduction to Cultural Perspectives), AAS 196 or CHS 196 while receiving intensive instruction in Reading/Writing and Math Skills. In addition to the formal academic classes which the students take, they are also provided with seminars on "survival skills" (e.g., money management, study skills, and time management) and guided through the process of group-study.
Pan African Studies faculty annually teach Culture classes and the Reading/Writing classes to approximately 100 African American students in the Program. Tutors are selected by the participating faculty to work closely with the students. These tutors serve not only as academic support staff, but also as mentors and role models for the Summer Bridge students.
Summer Bridge has been very effective in dramatically improving the rates of retention for African American and Chicano/Latino students when compared to students having similar educational and economic profiles, but who do not participate in the Summer Bridge program.