Co-sponsored by the California Community Colleges and the University of California, Puente has improved the transfer rate of thousands of students from all ethnicities and backgrounds for over 25 years. Puente has increased the number of underserved students who enroll in four-year colleges and universities, earn college degrees, and eventually return to the community as mentors and leaders to future generations.

Established in 1981 at Chabot College by co-founders Felix Galaviz and Patricia McGrath, Puente has since expanded to 56 community colleges and 36 high schools throughout California. Puente seeks to broaden its network of programs to a total of 75 community colleges in the near future.

In 1998, Puente earned national recognition when it was named as one of ten programs honored with an “Innovations in American Government Award,” sponsored by the Ford Foundation, the Council for Excellence in Government, and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.


Puente is recognized for the quality of its staff development and training programs that prepare community college instructors and counselors with effective methodologies for improving the academic achievement of underserved students, working collaboratively across academic disciplines, and increasing community-based support for students and community college staff. Puente provides three areas of service to students: teaching, counseling, and mentoring. Puente trains school and college staff members to conduct this program at their campus sites throughout the state.

Notes and News

  • Northern California Puente Project Team Directory2014-15 [pdf]
  • Southern California Puente Project Team Directory2014-15 [pdf]


Educational Services & Support