How to Use Online College Courses as Your Bridge College

Barry Lenson

How to Use Online College Courses as Your Bridge College

For some years now, Northwestern University has been offering its College Bridge Program for high school students in Chicago. Here’s how Northwestern describes the program on its website . . .

Thanks to a partnership between the Chicago Public Schools and Northwestern University, we are pleased to admit a select group of high school juniors from Chicago Public Schools to the College Bridge Program each summer. Each participant may enroll in one undergraduate course, for which he or she receives college credit. Tuition and textbooks are free, and students may choose from a wide variety of classes. By taking college-level courses with Northwestern undergraduates, participants in the College Bridge Program have the opportunity to experience academic and social life on campus. They gain confidence, experience, and inspiration - a terrific head start for any student preparing for college.

We agree. Allowing high school students to experience college before they graduate high school can make all the difference in how well they adjust to college life and perform at the university level. The bridge college concept is such a good idea, it has been adopted by San Jose State University, Marist College, and other institutions.

But here’s a troubling thought. Aren’t there a lot of slightly older people out there who need a bridge to college too? They could be members of the military, working parents, or simply people who had to delay college for a certain number of years before starting college.

If you find yourself in their company, we have a suggestion for you. Why not create a bridge program of your own, using online learning?

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