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Bridge Program Provides New Students with Solid Foundation for Transition to University

Trent University’s new Bridge program gives first-year students the skills they need to succeed

Earlier in August, 14 students arrived on the Peterborough campus to begin three intensive weeks as the first cohort of Trent University’s new Bridge program. The Bridge program provides an opportunity for participating students to experience university-level teaching and learning while completing two half credits towards their degree.

This year’s cohort engaged in various types of classes, discussions, and assignments, all focused on providing an introduction to interdisciplinary learning while developing writing, research, and critical thinking skills. The program included engaging, student-centred instruction based in active learning pedagogy, as well as workshops facilitated by academic skills instructors, librarians, and academic advisors. Visits by guest lecturers from a number of departments at Trent allowed students to also experience a variety of teaching styles, all with the goal of helping students prepare for success in their first-year at Trent and beyond.

“The students in the Bridge program are an extremely dedicated group of young scholars and I feel privileged to have been a part of their academic journey,” said Adam Guzkowski, one of the two Bridge program instructors about the passion and commitment he saw in the students who took part in the program. “It has been inspiring to watch them develop their skills and their confidence over the course of the three-week program.”

The Bridge program also connected students to several trained, upper-year student mentors who provided coaching, mentorship, and peer support to help make the transition to university life an easy one. The students also had the opportunity to enjoy social activities together such as canoeing the Otonabee River, low ropes, and a paint night.

“It was a good experience,” said one of the participating students about their time in the Bridge program. “Even though it was challenging, it really helped us prepare.”

Another student in the program added, “I feel more confident in my work and my ability to meet new people.”

The Bridge program is a collaboration and many months of planning by numerous departments at Trent including: the Centre for Teaching and Learning, Student Affairs, First Peoples House of Learning, the Registrar’s Office, Recruitment, Housing Services, Conference Services, Food Services, and Finance.

Posted on Friday, September 1, 2017.

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