The mission of the PUENTE Program at Yuba College is to increase the number of students who transfer and enroll in four-year Universities, earn their degrees, and return to the community as leaders and mentors of future generations. 

About the Program:

The PUENTE Project is a national award-winning program that has improved the college-going rate of tens of thousands of California’s underrepresented students. Students enrolled in the PUENTE Program receive the following services: 

  • Designated Counselor who provides academic, personal, and career counseling to prepare students to transfer to a four-year college or university. 
  • PUENTE English and Counseling cohort for one academic year. 
  • Mentor support to build the social and cultural capital for future success as college students and career professionals. 
  • Conferences, leadership training, and university campus tours.  

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Puente is open to all students at Yuba College who want to transfer 
  • Eligible to take ENGL 1A 
  • Eligible to take COUNS 10 and COUNS 25 
  • Have the desire and commitment to engage in program events and activities 


Puente’s Community College Program integrates six strategies to help students reach their goals. 

  • Teaching: Students attend a two-semester accelerated English writing series with the same Puente-trained professor. 
  • Counseling: Puente-trained counselor provides intensive academic and career counseling strategies. 
  • Mentoring: Students are matched with adult mentors who act as role models. 
  • Leadership Development: Puente helps develop leadership skills among students. 
  • Enrichment Opportunities: The Puente Community College program offers many opportunities for students to enhance their learning with experiences outside the traditional classroom environment. 
  • Ongoing Support: Puente has been recognized nationally for its commitment to providing ongoing support services to its students, who are sometimes referred to as being part of the Puente familia. 

History of Puente

Puente was founded in 1981 by Felix Galaviz and Patricia McGrath at Chabot College in Hayward, California. The program was established to address the low rate of academic achievement among Mexican-American and Latino students. Puente implements a program of rigorous instruction, focused academic counseling, and mentoring by members of the community. Puente’s staff training programs have benefited approximately 300,000 students across the state. Puente is open to all students. 

Puente Team at Yuba College:

Anabel Toche
Dean, Student Success 

Walter Masuda, Part-Time Instructor, English Faculty Lead

Dr. Nazia Mostafa,
Part-Time Instructor, 
Counseling Faculty Lead 

Puente English Coordinator
Walter Masuda
Professor Emeritus English
Professor Emeritus Walter Masuda has taught all levels of college composition and reading, developmental reading and writing, and literature courses for nearly 20 years at Contra Costa College. In 2004, he became a tenured Professor of English. Since 2016, he has been an adjunct faculty member in English at Yuba College. He has also served as the Dean of Fine Arts and Language Arts, the Dean of Arts, Humanities, and Education, the Executive Dean of the Sutter County Campus, and the Acting Dean of STEM and Social Sciences at Yuba College from 2011 to his retirement in 2016. Professor Masuda taught English for the Puente Project for five years at Contra Costa College and was instrumental in bringing the Puente Project to Yuba College before he retired. 

Puente Counselor Coordinator
Dr. Nazia Mostafa
Part-Time Counselor/Instructor

Dr. Nazia Mostafa has served as an educator for over fourteen years. She promotes and supports intersegmental cooperation to facilitate the transition of students. She advises students on various aspects of college programs including majors, course selection, transferability, and prerequisites for degree and transfer plans. She serves at-risk students who come from such backgrounds as low socio-economic status, English language learners, students with various abilities, first-generation college students, and under-prepared students.  

As Puente Program Coordinator, Dr. Mostafa aspires to continue reaching out to students who are struggling to complete their educational goals. Dr. Mostafa is passionate about providing equal opportunities to all learners. Her ultimate goal is to continue giving back to society by making positive changes in the lives of students. She strives to help students improve their academic performances, develop self-confidence, and achieve their educational, professional, and personal goals.