Bridge programs prepare adults with limited academic or
limited English skills to enter and succeed in creditbearing
postsecondary education and training leading to
career-path employment in high-demand, middle- and
high-skilled occupations. The goal of bridge programs is to
sequentially bridge the gap between the initial skills of
individuals and what they need to enter and succeed in
postsecondary education and career-path employment.
The following definition outlines the key components of
bridge programs in Illinois. This definition provides a
foundation for bridge program design in Illinois.
Bridge Program Core Elements:
Bridge programs assist students in obtaining the
necessary academic, employability, and technical skills
through three required components — contextualized
instruction, career development, and support services.
Required elements include:
• Contextualized instruction that integrates basic reading,
math, and language skills and industry/ occupation
• 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.