US: UBridge partners with SMC on pathways
Elite pathway provider University Bridge has announced an expansion in Southern California via a partnership with Santa Monica College. The company’s fourth location in the US will welcome its first cohort in spring 2020.
With two campuses in California – at the College of Marin and College of San Mateo – and Piedmont Virginia Community College, Virginia, the University Bridge location at Santa Monica College will be the provider’s third in California.
“We expect UBridge at Santa Monica College to be our largest campus”
Boasting 82% of transferring students in the past three years attending a top 40 US university, the UBridge model provides a potential transfer path to every US university, according to the company.
Despite falls in new starting international students in the US, UBridge has been expanding and growing student recruitment numbers since its inception in 2013.
“We are proud of our growth given the overall declining US numbers and tough political climate over the past few years,” UBridge co-founder Andrew Ullman told The PIE News.
“We believe we have done that because the US is a great place to study and our program is extremely compelling – you don’t have to give up your dream school when you attend UBridge.
“You can transfer into any university when you are done, from small, regional schools all the way up to Harvard.”
The company’s recruiting staff has long been asking for a southern California location, Ullman explained, adding that the launch is a “no-brainer”.
“We expect UBridge at Santa Monica College to be our largest campus over the next few years,” he said, taking into account the demand for study in California.
“Santa Monica College transferred over 600 students to UCLA alone last year and have sent more students to the UC system than any other community college for 28 straight years.”
Community colleges – previously lauded as USA’s secret weapon – is the “best path” for students to get settled into the US higher education system, Ullman added.
“The more desirable a US university is, the less likely that school is willing to allow a traditional pathway provider to operate on campus,” he said.
“[Community colleges] are a natural fit for a transfer-based program because community college students are expected to transfer out.”
With fewer students in a class, students can get their English language skills up to speed, while UBridge’s CollegeCare® offer provides concierge services to students, giving access to student counsellors in-person every weekday, Ullman explained.
The company also provides student housing, transportation, events and activities in order to help create a community for students.
With experience at CEG and INTO pathway programs, Jonathan Whitehouse will be leading on global recruiting for UBridge.
The spring term begins February 18, 2020, and UBridge is able to accept overseas students until January 5 for the initial cohort.