Culver City, CA (PRWEB) February 09, 2012
Antioch University Los Angeles (AULA) has announced an historic gift of $650,000 in support of its Bridge Program. The gift is the largest single donation in AULA history. The donors, who wish to remain anonymous, chose AULA because they were moved by the transformational opportunities of the Bridge Program, which provides a free education in the Humanities for poor and working poor individuals in Los Angeles. Each year 30 students enter the Bridge Program where they can earn up to 15 college credits with all the necessary expenses included. Bridge pays their tuition, books, supplies, even bus tokens and refreshments the nights of classes. Unlike many programs that offer skills training for low-level jobs, Bridge was designed to impart academic skills.
“Spontaneous giving of this magnitude is rare and we are deeply appreciative of this generous gift,” says AULA President Dr. Tex Boggs. “This historic investment in our Bridge Program promises to be both transformational and inspirational. It provides an exceptional opportunity for AULA to enhance and sustain the current Bridge program and it moves us closer to our goal of expanding the program to include at least one additional class of students.”
Each summer Bridge Director Kathryn Pope visits shelters, community centers, rehab clinics and adult day schools explaining the program to potential students. Bridge students work together with committed faculty and tutors studying philosophy, literature, art history and the writing arts. Bridge students have access to the use of AULA’s on-campus computer lab, on-line library services and two hours of tutoring each week.
“The gift allows Bridge not only to continue its work with students but to increase, exponentially, the number of participants in the program, allowing access to higher education, a supportive classroom, and curriculum that encourages community service and engagement,” added Bridge Director Kathryn Pope. “Often, we find that the experience of Bridge is a catalyst toward new possibility in students' lives and the lives of their families. In short, this gift will make a tremendous difference; its effects will be felt for decades. “
Bridge students are presented with material that brings questions to mind, which they analyze and discuss at length. This approach to education allows the students to view the world feeling less oppressed and more willing to add their voice to the mix. Many students who complete the program go on to enroll in community college, four-year colleges or professional schools. Some have even gone on to receive master’s degrees. Graduate have also formed community groups, started businesses and worked with nonprofits.
The need for the Bridge Program is great. The cost of a college education has tripled over the past decade. In California adults with a B.A degree earn almost twice as much as those with only a high school diploma, yet only 7-percent of low-income adult students earn a B.A. degree.
Antioch University Los Angeles (AULA) provides a rigorous progressive education to prepare students for the complexities of today's diverse societies. AULA, a not-for-profit institution, has served the greater Los Angeles area for 40 years. The core values of social justice, service to the community and lifelong learning lie at the heart of the B.A. degree completion program and master’s degree programs in organizational management, education and teacher credentialing, psychology, creative writing and urban sustainability. AULA is part of the Antioch University system which has roots dating back to 1852 and was recently named one of the top 20 colleges most committed to community service by USA Today. Inspired by the work of pioneering educator Horace Mann, Antioch University was founded in 1964 and serves over 5,000 adult students around the world and across the country, online and at five campuses in four states.
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