Building a Bridge

A picture of a male student in a classroom


Bridge programs assist students in obtaining necessary academic, employability, and technical skills. Bridge programs are designed for individuals whose skills do not currently meet minimum requirements for certain degree or certificate programs. They seek to enable students to advance both to better jobs and to further education and training, and thus are designed to provide a broad foundation for career-long learning on the job and for formal post-high school education and training. Programs may consist of a single integrated course or a series of related courses. However, all bridge programs allow participants to begin at their current skill level and develop the basic skills they need to transition to the next level of education and/or entry-level employment in career fields with local demand.

Common Elements of Career Pathway Bridges:

  • Connect points on a career ladder
  • Combine basic skills and career-technical content
  • Contextualize basic skills and English language content
  • Use new or modified curricula with identified learning targets
  • Change how classes are delivered
  • Support student success through comprehensive student services
  • Connect to local employer and community needs
  • Articulate to other bridges and to post-secondary education

Example Bridge Programs