The development of Bridge programs in Illinois began several years ago under the Shifting Gears Initiative. By Illinois' definition, "Bridge programs prepare adult students with limited academic skills to enter and succeed in credit-bearing postsecondary education and training leading to career-path employment in high-demand, middle-, and high-skilled occupations. The goal of the bridge program 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." In Illinois, there are two bridge program models:

The CTE/Developmental Ed Bridge proposes to combine developmental academics with career and technical instruction in an integrated and applied manner that aims to eliminate the need for separate developmental coursework in targeted academic areas, such as math, reading, and/or science, depending on the CTE area. The CTE/Developmental Ed Bridge furthermore connects with a postsecondary Program of Study at the community college by including career development and cluster/pathway knowledge and skills. Community Colleges are encouraged to explore utilizing Bridge programs to improve student success rates for transitioning into and retention in postsecondary credit programs.

For more information regarding Bridge Instruction Initiatives in Illinois, please contact ICCB staff, Brian Durham at or Tricia Broughton at