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US: Bridge announces three new pathway partners

Bridge Education Group has announced three new university partnerships that will see the Denver-based organisation open BridgePathways centres on campuses along the US East coast.

Western New England University in Springfield, MA

The move follows Bridge’s strategy to open 15 to 20 campus-based centres in the next five years

Husson University in Bangor, Maine, Manhattanville College in Purchase, New York and Western New England University in Springfield, Massachusetts will host the centres that aim to prepare students for degree programmes and study in American university classrooms.

After the company made its foray into pathways last year, announcing its first partnerships with Chadron State College, Colorado Mesa University, and Philadelphia University, President Jean-Marc Alberola said the move follows Bridge’s strategy to open 15 to 20 campus-based centres in the next five years.

“We want to offer as wide a variety of academic offerings as possible and a good geographic distribution throughout the United States”

“Bridge is looking to build a portfolio of university partners that complement each other,” he told The PIE News.

“We want to offer as wide a variety of academic offerings as possible, a range in terms of cost of attendance, and a good geographic distribution throughout the United States while remaining small enough to continue to provide personalised attention to our students and our partners.”

As the demand for pathway programmes grows in the US, Alberola said the company is positioning itself as a middle-market provider in the space.

“We are looking for a true partnership of collaboration where all of the stakeholders are on board and working together to achieve the university’s internationalisation goals,” he added.

Bridge’s pathway curriculum aims to go beyond just improving English language skills to preparing students for academic study in the US.

“Time and again, we have seen that simply taking test preparation courses to achieve a certain TOEFL score does not necessarily result in a student who is academically and culturally prepared for the US classroom,” said Natasha Ala, Regional Director of Bridge for North America.

“Our experience has shown us that international students need counselling and training in many areas that go beyond the four language skills.”

University partners will accept completion of the Bridge Academic English Program as proof of English proficiency in lieu of a TOEFL score, allowing students direct admission into their degree programme.

“Our experience has shown us that international students need counseling and training in many areas that go beyond the four language skills”

“Recruitment into the BridgePathways centre is a first step, however we also monitor and project matriculation rates from BridgePathways to the host university, which are currently as high as 80%,” commented Alberola.

With historical ties to Latin America, the company has become a leader in recruitment from the region and last year opened a pathway centre in Brazil at the Instituto Universitario de Pesquisas do Rio de Janeiro.

In October it plans to organise exclusive fairs for its US university partners on the campuses of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso and the Universidad Autónoma de Chile in Valparaiso and Santiago, Chile.

Partners will meet with pre-qualified students, develop partnerships with Chilean universities, and meet with HR directors of multinational corporations based in Chile to setup international internships for their students.

The recently announced BridgePathways centres are scheduled to open this autumn, pending required accrediting body and government agency approvals.

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