Engineering Academy


  • What is the Engineering Academy?
    It is a first-year experience program which aims to prepare you for the academic rigors of the University by giving you the tools and resources necessary to achieve academic excellence, not only in your first year, but beyond into your remaining undergraduate career. The Engineering Academy initiates with Summer Bridge and continues with active membership in the MESA Engineering Program (MEP) and the Academic Excellence Program (ACE).

Engineering Summer Bridge 2015 Group

  • Who can participate?
    The Engineering Academy is open to a select group of  first-generation college students based on their academic preparation and interests. The program emphasizes participation of a diverse student population, including women and students from ethnic groups which continue to have lower participation rates in engineering studies at UCSC.
  • What is (engineering) Summer Bridge?
    It is a week long residential program that provides a comprehensive introduction to the people and resources that will help new students flourish as engineering students. Participants will be introduced to the academic programs, research facilities, faculty, and learning support services of the Baskin School, while also participating in team and community building opportunities. The program is designed for students who have the academic foundation to succeed and have proposed an engineering major.  Since 2003 we have served 300 students in this unique residential program.
  • When is Summer Bridge?
    August 20-25, 2017. Detailed housing and travel information will be sent out after invited applicants have been confirmed.
  • Where is Summer Bridge?
    It takes place on the UC Santa Cruz campus.
  • What is provided? And is there a cost?
    On-campus housing, meals, program materials and other resources is provided. Summer Bridge is FREE, however transportation to and from campus is not provided.

This program is sponsored by the Jack Baskin School of Engineering, MEP, the Division of Student Success and the HSI SEMILLA project.

 Photo of students presenting their project

Job Announcement

Want to work for Summer Bridge? Every year we hire MEP undergraduate students as Peer Mentors and Math Tutors. Our peer mentors are hired for the year, but we're still looking for a few more Math Tutors.   They serve a key role in the program!  Download Job Announcement!

Student Testimonials

Ariel Anders, Computer Engineering, Class of 2012

My name is Ariel Anders and I am a second year Computer Science graduate student at MIT. I graduated from UCSC in 2012 as a Computer Engineering major with a concentration in Robotics and Control. I participated in Engineering Summer Bridge (ESB) in 2008. In college, I gained teaching experience through programs such as Academic Excellence (ACE), research experience through one of the STEM Diversity Programs, and a tutor from the Multicultural Engineering Program (MEP). I was introduced to these programs during Summer Bridge.  UCSC offers many resources for students, but most of the time it's up to the student to find these resources and utilize them. Summer bridge helps by connecting students with these resources.

Not only did I find out about relevant resources on campus, I also made meaningful connections with my peers, faculty, staff. Summer bridge is a gentle introduction to many important people on campus, which makes it less intimidating to approach them later on for assistance. It's always helpful to know more of your peers, for example, knowing some of the students on the first day of class makes it much less intimidating.   

Another  important aspect of Summer Bridge was the internship/research panel, which helped me realize the amazing opportunities for engineering students.  As a freshman, I started thinking about what I would do after college and how to prepare myself by participating in research or internships. This made me a much more focused and ambitious student.

By attending Summer Bridge, I started college well-connected, informed, and prepared. I attribute much of my success as an engineering student due to starting college the right way by participating in Summer Bridge.


Dominic Arcamone, Computer Game Design, Class of 2013

My name is Dominic Arcamone and am currently working at Microsoft Studios as a Software Developer.

As a former Engineering Summer Bridge Student in 2008 and Lead Mentor in 2010, I cannot stress the importance this program played in my successes as an Undergraduate.  The Bridge program opened up a world of opportunity for me and others who wanted to make the most of out their education: head start on your courses, free tutoring, faculty introduction, honors programs, internships, and a myriad of other resources that set all their students up for success.  In my freshman year alone, I became an active member of programs such as the Academic Excellence Program, MESA Engineering Program, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers through the networking opportunities created by the Bridge program. 

Apart from the educational benefits, the Bridge program also surrounded me with a great support group of friends and mentors.  Before going into the Bridge program, I was intimidated to start college since I was the only kid I knew from my high school that was going to UCSC.  I had no idea some of the people I would meet at the Bridge program would eventually become my best friends, even to this day.  These are the people who were with me on my first and last day of college; supporting me through thick and thin, and giving me the confidence to do great things and have fun throughout my college endeavors.

Without a doubt, attending UCSC's Engineering Summer Bridge program was one of the best decisions I ever made.  I cannot imagine where I would be today if it not for this program and its facilitators.


Jessica Zamora, Computer Game Design, Class of 2013

Hi Future Bridgee!

I was part of the Summer Bridge group from 2009, and although the program lasted about a week, the benefits lasted all throughout college! Here are some reasons why Summer Bridge was amazing:

Getting Acquainted with the Redwoods:

  • At first the campus overwhelmed me and I felt incredibly lost among the trees and people. Thanks to bridge I was able to learn classroom locations and the overall campus quickly!

Adjusting to College Academics:

  • Bridge supported me through (much needed) math reviews which greatly contributed to my success in the game design engineering major.
  • It also taught me better approaches to studying, which I had not learned in high school.

Building a Community:

  • Summer Bridge provides you with a community of friends and faculty that sincerely care about you and your well-being. Of course academically, but also personally!
  • I thought it would be super easy to make friends the first days of my classes, however people change majors/drop out of classes so much it’s hard to find someone constant. Because of the friendships I made at Summer Bridge there were always familiar faces around; this made me feel more welcome and like I truly belonged.
  • The last final I ever took in college was at 8am and it was for a general ed philosophy class. I had forgotten a [mandatory] scantron and was pretty much out of luck, but a guy I had met during Summer Bridge [and hadn’t talked to since!] saved me and gave me his extra.

College challenges you to grow in many aspects of life, and in times of hardship it’s always great to have a friend by your side.

If you have any hesitation about participating in Summer Bridge just know it is without a doubt worth it.



Alexis Rocha-Roux, Computer Engineering, Class of 2014

Hi potential Bridgees,Rocha

I was part of the summer bridge program in 2009 and mentored it in 2012. The engineering summer bridge program was an exceptional opportunity to experience some of the concepts that I would be encountering later in my academic career as well as gaining campus experience. The program really opened a lot of doors for me and everyone in the program by gaining a headstart on class enrolment, meeting some of the faculty and becoming familiar with all the resources that are available.

Along with that, bridge helped me in brushing up on my math skills for the incoming quarter of my freshmen year and introduced me to many great people that shared the same interest. Though some people changed majors and took different routes, many summer bridge participants were in the same classes as me and most became close friends. Through the program we were mentored by upper classmen who taught us the basics of engineering and also guided us in creating a small design project. This program really allowed me to start college with a sense of direction and is linked to my accomplishments as an engineering student. I cannot image where I would be today if I had not taken the opportunity to join this program.  


Remington Maxwell, Computer Science, Class of 2016

Engineering Summer Bridge is one of the fondest memories that I have from my time here at Santa Cruz.  I came from a very small town in the country and didn’t quite know what to expect during the Bridge program.  What I experienced was meeting an amazing group of diverse individuals from all types of backgrounds.  It was so much fun listening to where others were from, how they had grown up, and their reasons for wanting to get a degree.  Being a woman in a STEM major, I didn’t expect to see a lot of women in the program, but there were quite a few and it was nice to meet other women in my major.  Even though there were more men than women, the guys were very friendly and fun to be around.  I became close friends with about nine people, two girls and seven guys.  We have a lot of classes together and we are sometimes partners on assignments or form study groups. 

Thanks to the Bridge program, I was able to start off my first quarter as a freshman with many friends who were in the same classes as me.  At the end of the Spring Quarter, I even formed a softball team full of my friends I had made at Bridge.  Not only did I make friends at Bridge, I was able to brush up on math and prepare for the quarter ahead of me.  It was really nice to learn new math concepts as well as refresh old ones, especially after having such a long summer.  I feel that it really helped me transition into my math class in the fall.  I was also much more comfortable with the campus since I was able to get a tour of the campus and the classrooms by the Bridge Mentors.  One of the best parts of Bridge was the week long project that I took part in.  Everyone in Bridge was placed into groups that were to build a product by programming a circuit board with LEDs.  It was a ton of fun learning about circuit boards and a little bit of Java.  My team made a program called “Slugercise.”  The LEDs lit up a pattern that a participant would follow on a mat, which would increase foot speed, stamina, and overall health.  We had to present to a group of judges who were professors at the school.  This made me come out of my comfort zone since I don’t really like public speaking.  My team ended up winning third place, but the real victory was seeing ourselves grow so quickly over the course of the week. 

Summer Bridge is a truly once in a lifetime experience that will change your life.  It is the BEST way to begin the incredible experience before you at UC Santa Cruz.