Puente was founded in 1981 by Co-director Felix Galaviz and Patricia McGrath at Chabot College in Hayward. 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 numerous community colleges throughout the state. Today, Puente is open to all students who wish to transfer to a four-year university.

Many components work together to prepare Puente students to transfer to four-year colleges and universities.

English and Guidance Instruction:

Puente students take two consecutive English classes, ENGL-85 and ENGL-01A. These classes provide a supportive and stimulating environment for Puente students to build confidence in their writing and reading skills through an exploration of the Mexican American/Latino experience. All Puente students are also required to enroll in the program's Guidance 30 and Guidance 45 courses.


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


Business or professional 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, their colleges, and the community.

Other Activities:

Puente students are required to attend university field trips and cultural and program events. These events are designed to help students achieve the goals of the program.

Call the Counseling Department at (209) 381-6478 for more information.