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Bridges Program Growing, Benefits Students and Community
South Dakota Ag Connection - 12/06/2018

Two years ago, as part of the University of Sioux Falls and Kilian Community College's historic agreement, USF assumed ownership of Kilian's Bridges program. Today the program flourishes as enrollment surpasses 100 students from multiple continents.

"In Sioux Falls there are many intelligent, capable and determined people who need assistance with English to advance their lives," said Bridges Program Director Randy Nelson, who is also Director of International Education at USF. "Some have survived war, poverty and relentless hunger in their home countries. Others have endured despotic leadership or natural disasters. I therefore want the Bridges program to give students more than English skills. I want it to provide people with encouragement, hope and confidence. If Bridges can play even a small role in helping people have peaceful and meaningful lives, the program can then be considered a success."

New to the program this year are two combined courses to assist with GED preparation: Advanced English/GED social studies and GED math/science. Additionally, this semester Bridges students are eligible to acquire six hours of basic computer training with a new specialized course.

"The Bridges program is focused on serving the wonderful, hard-working people in our community with limited English proficiency that often limits employment opportunities," said USF President Brett Bradfield. "Engaging at various points on the spectrum of workforce development needs in our community is at the heart of who we are and is a gateway of opportunity for our students and the community."

And the Bridges program is just one of many ways the University is feeding the workforce development pipeline. With strong community partnerships, a 110-year relationship with the Sioux Falls Chamber and a focused strategic plan, the University stands firm in its commitment to education while nimbly addressing the needs of students, the community and beyond.

The Bridges spring semester begins Feb. 11.

For more information on the Bridges Program, visit:

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