The Bridge: College Prep & Leadership Academy

The Bridge

The Bridge: College Prep and Leadership Academy

July 12-17, 2020

Registration is now OPEN for this year’s Bridge!

The Bridge

Gain a competitive edge when applying to college by participating in The Bridge, a college preparation program here at the University of Pittsburgh. Open to rising high school juniors and seniors, our Academy offers leadership development experience and college preparation workshops to provide the knowledge and skills needed to successfully navigate the college application process.* We will also provide you with SAT/ACT test preparation and a practice test courtesy of Goldstein Test Prep.


The Bridge program fee is $850. This fee covers room, meals, and social activities for July 12-17.  A $250 deposit is due at the time of registration, $150 of that is non-refundable. Early Bird is now available until May 15, 2020 – at the cost of $700!  The entire program fee must be paid by July 2, 2020.  No refunds for cancellations will be given after July 2, 2020. If a student/family has financial need, please email Rich Fann ( with the student’s name, and their essay on why they should be selected for one of three full scholarships to the 2020 Bridge!

Parents: The 2020 camper information packet will be available in first quarter 2020!


Pitt Students interested in being an Academy Counselor for The Bridge? Watch this space in Spring 2020 for more details!



Program Details

If you are a rising high school sophomore, junior or senior, The Bridge is designed to provide you with the best collegiate preparation experience in the world. By participating in The Bridge, you will be exposed to leadership development experience and college preparation workshops. Develop skills that will support your college application process and matriculation.

  • Upon arrival, you and your parents will be invited to meet program staff.
  • You will be put into groups of 10 which will be led by Academy Counselors. Academy Counselors are current undergraduate Pitt students.
  • Throughout the program, you will receive individualized skill training and exposure to college preparation materials.
  • Small group discussions will help you align your preferences with college programs, and develop a personal mission statement. The personal mission statement will be used to create a personal statement that can be used for college admissions essays.
  • Learn from staff and each other about the admissions process and enjoy the opportunity to meet with college admissions representatives, tour campus, and attend an informational session on financial aid.
  • Gain valuable experience and insight in the areas of leadership development, conflict management, diversity, creative problem-solving, and maximizing your college experience.
  • Meals will be provided, and each evening a social activity will take place on campus or at a local attraction.


Program Goals

The Bridge provides you with on-campus collegiate preparation and leadership development experience to support your college application process and matriculation. 


Develop an action plan for applying to college and gaining admission to the college of your choice.*

By completing The Bridge program, you will:

  • Develop a greater sense of self.
  • Increase your awareness of opportunities on college campuses.
  • Create a personal statement.
  • Prepare for college admissions interviews.
  • Prepare to apply to colleges.
  • Prepare to take college admissions standardized tests.


Housing & Food

All participants will be housed in Nordenberg Hall. The hall is air-conditioned. Bedding, towels and washcloths will be provided. The program will provide (3) meals a day. If you have a food allergy or require specific dietary needs, we will provide the necessary accommodations. All allergy and dietary needs should be disclosed at the time of registration.

Program Schedule

This is a sample schedule and may vary each year.


  • (1-3 p.m.) Check-in
  • Mix and Mingle Activity
  • Parent Info Session (optional for parents/guardians)
  • Opening Session
  • Welcome Dinner
  • Teambuilders
  • Goal Setting


  • Breakfast
  • Career Discovery: Holland Code
  • Researching Colleges and Universities
  • Lunch
  • Breakout Session (Creative Problem Solving)
  • Breakout Session (The Value of Service)
  • Dinner
  • SAT/ACT Informative Workshop
  • Social Activity


  • Breakfast
  • Admissions Officer Q&A
  • College Application Preparation
  • Lunch
  • Personal Statement Writing
  • Campus Scavenger Hunt
  • Dinner
  • Social Activity


  • Breakfast
  • SAT/ACT Practice Test
  • Breakout Session (Conflict Management)
  • Breakout Session (Creating a Record of Success)
  • Breakout Session (Diversity on Campus)
  • Dinner (Discover Pittsburgh Foods)
  • Social Activity


  • Breakfast
  • Interview Prep
  • Mock Interviews
  • Lunch and Involvement Panel
  • Oakland Excursions
  • Closing Dinner and Ceremony
  • Social Activity


  • Breakfast
  • Leadership Action Plans
  • Group Photo
  • Evaluations
  • (11am-1pm) Parents/Guardians pick up students

Campus Safety

Your safety and security is a top priority here at Pitt. During The Bridge, the following measures will be taken to ensure student safety:

  • A security guard will be at Nordenberg Hall 24 hours a day.
  • No guest access to Nordenberg Hall will be permitted.
  • Small group counselors will take attendance each time the groups change locations.
  • Nordenberg Hall will lock down at lights-out each night at 11 p.m.
  • Counselors will lead small groups to all activities and sessions and be responsible for their group at all times.
  • A program staff member will be in the building during the program and will be on call, each counselor will also stay in the building.
  • Disability accommodations need to be arranged in advance of the program by calling the Office of Disability Resources and Services at 412-648-7890.

In addition to the safety procedures, a Code of Conduct will be distributed to all students, and parents/guardians. The Code must be signed prior to arriving on campus. Violations to the Code of Conduct could result in dismissal. Parents will sign an agreement that they will pick their student up, no matter the time, if a dismissal should occur. There will be a strict no alcohol/drug policy.


* The strategies presented by, and skills developed at, the Bridge are intended to help participants enhance and refine their admissibility to the college(s) of their choice, but in no way are intended or implied to guarantee admission to any college or university.

Contact The Bridge