How to Build Bridge Programs that Fit into a Career Pathway: A Step-By-Step Guide Based on the Carreras En Salud Program in Chicago

How to Build Bridge Programs that Fit into a Career Pathway: A Step-By-Step Guide Based on the Carreras En Salud Program in Chicago

Instituto Del Progreso Latino, 2010

Toolkit Purpose 

How to Build Bridge Programs that Fit into a Career Pathway recognizes that not all low-skill workers are ready to participate in a Career Pathways initiative with classes that start at the college level. This huge potential reservoir of workers, not only lack the necessary credentials to apply for open positions but they also lack the basic education to begin that training. This manual demonstrates how Career Pathways "bridge" programs can provide these low-skill adults with realistic opportunities to access postsecondary education and sustained employment through contextualized instruction, career development, and support services.

Publisher 
Illinois Community College Board, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, and Joyce Foundation
Intended Audience 
Organizations that want to implement Career Pathways programs, particularly administrators and instructors of adult and vocational programs, employers, and others
Career Pathways Target Population 
Low-skill adults, particularly those in need of English as a Second Language (ESL) or adult basic education (ABE) training
Based On 
Carreras en Salud is an early bridge program prototype in Chicago that received seed funding from Illinois's Critical Skills Shortage Initiative and has achieved significant outcomes since it began operating in 2005. In 2009, the program had a 94% cumulative completion rate among 1,197 participants and it has been recognized as one of the top Career Pathways initiatives in the nation.
Summary of Toolkit Approach 

This manual provides instruction on how to develop successful bridge programs, drawing on examples from Carreras en Salud. The guide is organized around step-by-step instructions on how to:
- Conceive, design, and identify the essential elements of a bridge program;
- Identify and develop successful partnerships;
- Create and contextualize curricula, as well as determining instructor qualities;
- Handle logistics including budgeting; and
- Sustain and expand the bridge program model.

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