Creating A Successful Bridge Program: A "How To" Guide
This guide was prepared as part of the Illinois Shifting Gears Initiative to help organizations understand and anticipate essential steps for developing a bridge program. These steps are based on three core elements:
- Contextualized instruction that integrates basic reading, math, and language skills and industry/
- Career development that includes career exploration, career planning within a career area, and understanding the world of work (specific elements depend upon the level of the bridge program and on whether participants are already incumbent workers in the specific field).
- Transition services that provide students with the information and assistance they need to successfully navigate the process of moving from adult education or remedial coursework to credit or occupational programs. Services may include (as needed and available) academic advising, tutoring, study skills, coaching, and referrals to individual support services, e.g., transportation and childcare.
The guide is organized in ten chapters that cover the key steps in developing a bridge program. Each chapter reviews the importance of the step, critical "how to's," and working practices from Illinois programs that illustrate how the steps have been organized and implemented in the field. The guide includes 10 worksheets allowing readers to organize their thoughts as they work through the chapters. In addition, the chapters provide references to more detailed guides, publications, and toolkits on particular topics.
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