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Academic Bridge Program, Doha, Qatar

The Academic Bridge Program is a preparatory program for enhancing the academic background and experience of high school graduates from Qatar and other countries in the Gulf region, for future study at English-language-based world-class universities, including the new university being developed in Doha by the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development. The ABP addresses the universal problem of student academic and cultural transition from high school to the university, but has been designed to specifically address the needs of students in the Gulf region. ABP students will identify their natural talents, select appropriate fields of study to match those talents, and develop the academic and personal skills necessary to succeed in an undergraduate degree program within one of those fields.

ABP distinguishes itself from other bridge programs by being learner-centered, utilizing a unique pedagogical approach, an innovative curriculum, and outstanding student support services.

The program is highly intensive, involving a commitment of 35 hours per week of assigned learning activities. It provides a high degree of control and guidance to students in the early stages, with gradual reduction of supervision to ensure a high degree of independence and individual responsibility by the end of the program.

In addition to developing English language skills for university study, the program curriculum aims at:

Developing the logic, study habits and reasoning skills appropriate for success in the new university in Doha or other highly competitive universities;

Developing computer-use skills appropriate for students entering the new university or other universities at the leading edge of information technology applications;

Developing mathematics skills appropriate for entrance into a specific field of study such as engineering or business at the new university or elsewhere; and

Developing science skills appropriate for entrance into a specific field of study such as engineering or medicine at the new university or elsewhere.

Students are continuously assessed throughout the program. Initial student assessment provides the basis upon which advising coordinators develop an individual learning plan, which outlines the individualized educational program most suited to each student’s aptitudes and interests. Throughout the program of study, the advising coordinators monitor students’ progress toward achieving their individual learning plans and counsel them regularly.

Students are placed in small learning groups, based on the skills and knowledge revealed by the assessments, in order to learn how to use study teams effectively, to foster a sense of community and to increase motivation.

Career counseling and guidance services are provided to students and build on the continuous assessment program to identify and match students’ aptitudes, interests, and performance to an educational program for further study. Each student is advised regarding the broad fields of study, such as medicine, engineering, business, design art, and other fields, appropriate for individuals with his or her particular aptitudes. Similarly, students are advised regarding broad fields of study in which success is not as likely.

With on-site faculty support, advanced students have an opportunity to earn university credit via distance education courses from institutions in the U.S.

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