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Creating Leaders for California's Future

The mission of the Puente Project is to increase the number of educationally underserved students who enroll in four-year colleges and universities, earn degrees, and return to the community as leaders and mentors to future generations.

The Co–directors, Felix Galaviz and Patricia McGrath at Chabot College in Hayward, founded Puente in 1981. The program mission was to increase the number of Mexican American/Latino students transferring to four–year colleges and universities. Since then, Puente has expanded to over 50 community colleges throughout the State. As an outgrowth of its success as a community college program, Puente high school programs were added throughout the State in 1993.

Puente is open to all students.

The Puente Project is now accepting applications for the Fall 2014 cohort of students.
After you have submitted the Puente student application, you will be invited to come to the campus to attend an upcoming information session to learn more about the program and services to be eligible for the incoming class.  

Click here to begin the application process.


  • Succeed academically
  • Are recognized as leaders and scholars
  • Graduate from four–year colleges and universities
  • Belong to a statewide network of leaders and professionals

Flyers for the Puente Information Sessions for May 2014 and June 2014 can be found here: 

May 2014 Info Sessions

June 2014 Info Sessions


Puente provides three areas of service to students to help them transfer to a four year institution:

Puente students take two consecutive writing classes, English A and English 1A. These classes provide a supportive and stimulating environment for Puente students to build confidence in their writing skills through an exploration of the Mexican American/Latino experience and multicultural literature.

Puente students work closely with their Puente counselor until they graduate, exploring career options, developing an academic educational plan and identifying lifetime goals. Students visit University of California and California State University campuses and attend Puente student transfer conferences

Each Puente student is matched with a mentor from the business or professional community. Mentors share with students their personal, academic and career experiences, and provide a window into "real life" work environments. The network of trained Puente mentors provides many resources for the Puente students, their families, colleges and the community.


Students are only accepted in the fall semester to the Puente Program.

Students must be eligible for English A and English 84 in the fall semester, either by completion of prerequisite coursework or assessment score placement.

Students must be committed to the goals of the Puente Program, including an intent to transfer to a four-year college/university.

Students must attend a Puente Information Session in the Spring/Summer semester.  Enrollment in the program is on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Students must be able to take the Human Development 8 and Human Development 5 course.



  • Over 5,500 students have enrolled in the Puente community college program.
  • Over 2,000 professionals donate over 18,000 hours annually to Puente students.
  • An estimated 200,000 non–Puente students have benefited from Puente's staff development programs.
  • Community colleges with Puente programs transfer 44 percent more Latino students to the University of California than colleges without the Puente Program.

Check out the Spring 2014 Puente Newsletter - find out what our Puentistas have accomplished this spring!

For more information, please call:

Maribel Hernandez, Co-coordinator/Counselor (310) 660-3593 x3638

Dr. Rachel Lewis Ketai, Co-coordinator/English Instructor (310) 660- 3593 x3191

Puente Project, University of California, Office of the President

 Last Published 5/22/14