Yuma Education Success Program offers ways to help Yuma high school grads amid pandemic

Students transitioning from high school to college often experience “summer melt”—the melting away of motivation to continue with their plans for college.

This year’s summer melt has been compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, which shifted seniors to distance learning and changed their routine right at the time high school graduates are getting excited about starting their college journey. Many are unsure about what college holds for them in a time of physical distancing with a greater emphasis on virtual learning.

But a Northern Arizona University program can help 2020 graduates of the Yuma Union High School District beat the summer melt and start college strong.

The Yuma Educational Success (YES) Program offers a path to a high-quality education—complete with scholarships, ongoing support from local mentors, academic tutors, paid internships and career guidance, along with a summer bridge program to help students stay motivated. Students will have the flexibility to choose the way they attend classes at Arizona Western College to support their health and comfort levels. These course attendance options include: blended real-time, remote real-time and in-person real-time, as well as fully online since all services for the YES Program are available virtually.

A cohort of 200 students is being formed now, and 50 students will have the opportunity to experience a free virtual summer bridge program that includes a one-credit success course, fun activities and opportunities to connect with fellow classmates, preparing students for a successful first year in college. The Summer Bridge to Success will be held from July 19-31.

“The YES Program is designed to support students on a successful college pathway from Arizona Western College to Northern Arizona University,” said Marcy Hurtado, YES Program Manager. “The goal of the program is to support them with completing their bachelor’s degree while ensuring college is financially and academically possible. Throughout their educational journey at AWC and NAU, YES students will have a full set of services available to ensure their success. All YES Program students will graduate prepared for a rewarding career.”

Program participants are eligible to receive a yearly scholarship of $1,500 at AWC for up to two years. When they transfer and enroll full-time to any NAU campus (including Yuma and Flagstaff), they may also be eligible to receive the 2NAU scholarship (up to $4,000) and Jacks Transfer Award (up to $4,000 for statewide campuses or up to $8,000 for Flagstaff campus).

Applications are being accepted now online. To apply, go to the 2020 YES Program Application, or scan the QR Code with their phones:

YES QR code

For more information on eligibility criteria and the YES Program, please visit nau.edu/YES or contact Marcy Hurtado, YES Program Manager, at YES2Success@nau.edu or (928) 317-7113.