More than half of adults say the expense of a college education is “a big problem.” For adult students living on a low income, this problem and its barriers might be too big to tackle. Students in the Bridge Program may have found a solution – access to higher education through Antioch University Los Angeles. Each week, Bridge students attend class to begin college, to earn up to 15 transferrable units of university credit, and to study philosophy, literature, art history, writing, and urban studies – all free of charge. Bridge students complete the nine-month program without borrowing or spending a penny on books, tuition, school supplies, or bus tokens to get to and from class.
The result? Over the years, hundreds of Bridge students have gained access to college. Many have continued their education after Bridge, completing associate’s degrees, attending university, and even graduate school. Yet Bridge provides more than access to what would otherwise be an expensive education. Experience has shown that, when encouraged to read, analyze, and write about the humanities in an encouraging environment, Bridge students often begin to affect change in their personal lives, careers, and communities. Many participate more fully in public life, going to museums, studying at libraries, attending poetry readings, concerts, and plays. Some become active in local politics, community organizations, or nonprofits. Often, Bridge students pass on their knowledge – and love of learning – to others in their families and communities.
The Bridge Program was founded in 1999 by AULA alumna Shari Foos, with the assistance of BA program faculty member David Tripp, who served as founding director. Bridge is funded by the generous support of individuals, foundations, and volunteers, and by Antioch University Los Angeles.