Bridge Experience Program
Bridge Experience Program begins year 3
The Bridge Experience Program kicked off year 3 with a retreat on August 8. Nearly 40 faculty attended representing 7 colleges. Faculty shared updates from their programs, heard university-level data updates, and began planning for the coming year. The first 2 programs, English and Food Science and Technology, are implementing bridge experience requirements for entering students this fall. Virginia Tech was also featured on a national webinar, Scaling Experiential Learning for Underserved Students, recognizing Virginia Tech's committment to a holistic, experiential education for all students.
An information session will be held November 9 for acadmic programs wanting to learn more about the Bridge Experience Program. More information and the registration link is available here.
The Bridge Experience Program is an initiative aimed at empowering disciplinary faculty to implement a bridge experience requirement for all students. These bridge experiences serve to connect students' disciplinary knowledge and skills with real-world, work-based experiences that align with their post-graduation goals. The program adopts research-based practices to ensure the utmost effectiveness.
Virginia Tech is proud to share that 19 academic programs have already committed to implementing bridge experiences for their students, thereby making this initiative a reality. This commitment demonstrates our dedication to providing holistic education and preparing students for successful careers beyond graduation.
What are bridge experiences?
The Bridge Experience Program will launch Virginia Tech’s plan for all undergraduate students to learn experientially through place-based opportunities and to develop the knowledge, skills, and abilities for success in their future endeavors. This student learning initiative empowers disciplinary faculty to implement a bridge experience requirement connecting students’ disciplinary knowledge and skills to an experience aligned with their post-graduation goals using research-based learning processes.
Bridge experiences help prepare students for post-graduation life and develop a professional identity. They offer opportunities to apply specific disciplinary knowledge to contemporary problems and questions, and they often take place in a professional environment, during the final years of a student’s academic journey. Students may be engaged in several intensive experiential learning opportunities during their time at Virginia Tech, but a bridge opportunity is one that a student designates as likely to help them move into specific post-graduation plans. Typical bridge experiences include undergraduate research, internships, and other place-based experiences.
Students engaging in a bridge experience will be able to
- Apply and connect their learning across academic and professional settings
- Demonstrate professional self-awareness by articulating their personal and professional development; and
- Demonstrate a dedication to using their knowledge, skills, and talents in service to others, communities, and/or their field.