Bridge programs prepare adults with limited academic or English skills to enter and succeed in post-secondary education and training leading to career-path employment in skilled jobs. The goal of bridge programs is to bridge the gap between the initial skills of individuals and what they need to enter and succeed in post-secondary education and career-path employment. Bridge programs help students obtain the necessary academic, occupational, and technical skills through contextualized instruction, career development, and support services.
Click here to read CJC’s one-page Overview of the Bridge Program Model
Local Bridge Program Initiatives: Chicago and Illinois
The Pathways to Careers Network is a joint initiative of Women Employed and the Chicago Jobs Council. The Network provides information on policies and programs related to bridge programs, facilitates connections between stakeholders, and helps to advance a policy agenda. On this page you will find resources including best practices for bridge programs, an Illinois bridge directory, as well as a bridge program definition describing core elements.
There are several community based bridge programs in Chicago–programs are housed in many organizations and receive funding from several different sources. For an overview of bridge programs in Chicago, see this report.
Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) Innovative Bridge and Transition Program
The ICCB allocates funding for new or existing bridge programs for adults with limited English or academic skills. Eligible grantees include Community Based Organizations, public or private nonprofits, local education agencies, and institutions of higher education. Here are the funding allocations for FY 2018.