Bridge To Open Three New, On-campus BridgePathways Centers in the United States

Bridge Education Group (Bridge®) has announced plans to open three new BridgePathways centers at universities in the United States. The new centers will be hosted at Husson University in Bangor, Maine; Manhattanville College in Purchase, New York; and Western New England University in Springfield, Massachusetts. The three universities are joining Bridge’s higher education portfolio that includes Chadron State College, Colorado Mesa University, and Philadelphia University.

President of Bridge, Jean-Marc Alberola, indicated additional expansion of the education group in the coming years. “We are very excited about the addition of these three new university partners, which is consistent with our plan to establish fifteen to twenty campus-based centers in the next five years,” Alberola stated. He added that Bridge is establishing a middle-market position in the university pathways space. “We will grow big enough to offer a wide variety of academic programs of study, geographic locations, and tuition costs, while remaining small enough to continue to provide personalized attention to our students and our partners.”

Alberola further revealed that the key to the success and vision of BridgePathways is a collaborative spirit amongst the partner universities. Richard Keating, Vice President for Strategic Initiatives at Western New England University, reflected on the positives associated with BridgePathways. “Western New England University is pleased to be part of the BridgePathways partnership, not only for the high quality language programming that will be offered on our campus, but also for the opportunity to collaborate with other exceptional U.S. universities in international enrollment initiatives.”

Lisa Rooney, Vice President of Institutional Relations at Bridge, pointed out the origin of Bridge’s involvement in international student recruitment. “Bridge started nearly thirty years ago in the language travel industry,” Rooney explained. “As a result, we have built a trusted network of education agencies across the globe who historically have represented our language schools. Of course today, these same agencies are helping students to find an academic path, and English is just the means to an end – a degree from a U.S. university.”

"Manhattanville College is very excited about its partnership with Bridge," said Nikhil Kumar, Vice President for Undergraduate Enrollment Management.  "As previously an international student myself at Manhattanville, I know first-hand the value of a U.S. higher education degree.  The College has always enjoyed a diverse mix of international students from nearly 50 countries and now, with Bridge as our partner, we know we will continue to globalize our campus and welcome students from around the world into our community."

Although Bridge’s recruitment efforts focus on the top countries of origin of international students, Bridge continues to lead the way in developing the Latin American market with its presence in Argentina, Chile and Brazil.  In October of this year, Bridge will be organizing exclusive student fairs for its U.S. university partners on the campuses of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso and the Universidad Autónoma de Chile in Valparaiso and Santiago, Chile.

“We are looking forward to hosting our U.S. university partners here in Chile, where they will have the opportunity to meet with pre-qualified students, conduct partnership development with Chilean universities, and meet with HR directors of multinational corporations based in Chile to setup international internships for their students,” stated Carlos Pizarro, Regional Director of Bridge for Latin America. “This will be a multi-faceted and action-packed week in Chile for our BridgePathways partners and we are eager to assist them with building long-lasting relationships and a brand presence here in Chile.”

Bridge’s university partners offer academically qualified international students conditional admission, and accept successful completion of the BridgePathways Academic English Program as proof of English proficiency in lieu of a TOEFL score. Colleen Grover, Director of International Initiatives at Husson University explained, “This process allows students to complete their language studies in the same university where they will earn their degree, making the transition to a new culture and environment seamless. In this way, English studies with Bridge not only prepare students for academic success in general, but also may be tailored to the skill set needed for specific majors and areas. The close connection between Bridge and university staff ensures excellent support and individualized success strategies for students.”

The BridgePathways Academic English Program is designed to prepare international students for success in their degree programs. The rigorous curriculum was designed using a three-pronged approach, addressing linguistic, academic, and intercultural skills. “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 U.S. classroom,” asserts Natasha Ala, Regional Director of Bridge for North America. “Our experience has shown us that international students need counseling and training in many areas that go beyond the four language skills.”

The new BridgePathways centers are scheduled to open in fall of this year, pending required accrediting body and government agency approvals.

The Pie News Reported on the news of the new locations and you can see the full article here: