Frequently asked questions for students, parents, and educators.


Bridge to College Transition Courses
Questions and Answers
Updated: March 2021

A. Background and Application Process
B. Placement Agreement and How the Courses “Count”
C. Who Can/Should Enroll in the Courses?
D. Course Content, General Information

A. Background and Application Process

1. When will the registration process open for the 2021-22 year?
Registration opened in February 2021. Districts can register their schools and teachers through the Smartsheet process on the OSPI website. Districts are expected to register all teachers, new and returning, who are planning to teach the course in 2021-22, and pay the fees involved in supporting the required professional learning.

2. Are smaller districts and rural ones on equal footing with larger districts during the selection process?
Absolutely – all districts are encouraged to participate; the registration process will remain open through the summer though ideally new teachers would be registered in time to sign up for the required Summer Institute in early August.

3. Is there a state course code to use on Skyward that is statewide?
• The course code for Bridge to College English language arts is WA 001. Course description: This course will develop students’ college and career readiness by building skills in focused reading, writing, speaking & listening, and research work based on Washington State’s K-12 Learning Standards for English language arts (the Common Core State Standards, CCSS-ELA). Students will engage with rigorous texts and learn to use strategies for critical reading, argumentative writing, and independent thinking while reading unfamiliar texts and responding to them in discussion and writing. The course will also develop essential habits of mind necessary for student success in college, including independence, productive persistence, and metacognition.

• The course code for Bridge to College Mathematics is WA 003. Course description: This course is designed for seniors to improve their readiness for college-level math courses through building conceptual understanding, reasoning and mathematical skills. The course emphasizes modeling with mathematics and the Standards for Mathematical Practice found within Washington K-12 Mathematics Learning Standards (the Common Core State Standards, CCSS-M). Topics include building and interpreting functions (linear, quadratic & exponential), writing, solving and reasoning with equations and inequalities, and summarizing, representing, and interpreting data. Meets the baccalaureate admissions requirement for a 4th year quantitative reasoning course.

4. How are Bridge courses imported into Skyward or on any 1-to-1 devices?
You will need to work with your IT department to determine how to access the reporting tools and curriculum using the technology in your district.

5. What data will be collected for the Bridge to College courses?
Using the Bridge to College courses’ unique course codes, we are collecting longitudinal data to assess outcomes, including course completion records, grades, and assessment results (MSP/SBA). We are also following students who transition into college to learn more about the impact of the class. All of these data are gathered from third party resources, and we do not anticipate requesting records through the schools. We are also gathering qualitative data on the project, particularly the effectiveness of the professional learning support for teachers, and in order to collect those data external evaluators have visited a sampling of schools and classrooms across the project.

B. Placement Agreement and How the Courses “Count”

6. Which Washington higher education institutions have included the Bridge to College courses in their Smarter Balanced placement agreements?
Currently the Bridge courses are included in the system-wide agreement that applies to all 34 of the state’s community and technical colleges and in Eastern Washington University’s agreement; the other public baccalaureate institutions are still considering whether to include the Bridge courses in their separate agreements. For participating institutions, high school students who earn a B or better in the Bridge courses and then begin college the year following graduation, will be placed directly into a college-level math (not on a calculus or STEM pathway) or English composition course.

7. Will this course replace the SAT or ACT testing requirement for colleges and universities in Washington?
No, currently the SAT and ACT are tests required for the admission process at most baccalaureate colleges and universities. At most institutions students then need to take a placement assessment to determine whether they can start in college-level coursework in math and English. At participating institutions (currently all of the community and technical colleges and Eastern Washington University), the Smarter Balanced agreement with the Bridge course can substitute for that placement process allowing students direct entry into credit-bearing coursework if they earn a 2 on the Smarter Balanced Assessment and a “B” in the course.

8. Will passing this course count as an “alternative” to passing the SBA as a graduation requirement?
Yes. Since 2018–19 students have been able to take and pass a locally determined course in the content area and use the passing score on a locally administered assessment tied to that course as an objective alternative assessment for demonstrating that the student has met or exceeded the high school graduation standard. Transition courses such as Bridge to College are considered an approved locally determined course and assessment since successful completion by a high school student ensures the student college-level placement at participating institutions of higher education. For more information: http://www.k12.wa.us/Assessment/StateTesting/pubdocs/ESHB2224Outline.pdf

9. Can the Bridge Courses meet the English language arts and mathematics credit requirements for high school graduation?
Yes. The mathematics Bridge course can be a 3rd credit of mathematics or a 4th year quantitative course but cannot replace Algebra 1, Algebra 2 or Geometry. For ELA, students can take the Bridge course in place of their senior ELA course.
To meet the minimum admissions requirements for state baccalaureate institutions, students need to pass Algebra 2. The Bridge to College Mathematics course does meet the baccalaureate senior year requirement for a math or quantitative reasoning course as determined by the Washington Student Achievement Council (College Academic Distribution Requirements (CADR), 2014).

10. Does the Bridge course replace or connect to the Collection of Evidence (COE) course?
After the passage of ESHB 2224 in June 2017, Collection of Evidence is no longer an option for meeting assessment graduation requirements. Locally administered assessments became an optional assessment graduation alternative in 2018-19. Transition courses such as Bridge to College are now considered an approved locally determined course and assessment.


C. Who Can/Should Enroll in the Courses?

11. Can you describe the ideal student “profile” for students who are well suited for the Bridge courses?
The Bridge courses are designed to support students who score a “2” on the SBA and are interested in attending college and need extra supports to prepare them to take college level math and ELA courses. Students who are not college-bound will benefit from the Bridge courses, however, schools are strongly encouraged to thoughtfully identify students, in collaboration with teachers, counselors, and administration, who are considered the best fit for the Bridge courses.
Given the design of most AVID programs, AVID students may be a good match for placement in the Bridge to College courses.
If SBA scores are not available, schools and districts are encouraged to use their best professional knowledge for placing students in the course for the coming year.

Here are some specific suggestions for placement into these courses:

ELA: This course may be a good fit for seniors who score below college-ready on the Smarter Balanced Assessment but are interested in attending college and would like to enter directly into a college Composition class without remediation or placement testing when enrolling in college after graduation. Juniors who plan to take a College in the High School or other college-level course in their Senior year will benefit from taking this course in the junior year. Students who seek to strengthen their literacy skills may also choose this course as an alternative to a core English 12 class.

Math: The course is specifically designed for students scoring at Level 2 on the Smarter Balanced Assessment, but the course could be a useful experience for any senior student interested in improving their college readiness skills. In particular, you should consider giving priority to the following students:
 Seniors who have taken but not passed Algebra 2 OR who passed but would benefit from additional math intervention.
 Seniors who are recommended by high school instructors based on other factors such as readiness and their High School and Beyond plans.

12. Can juniors be placed in the Bridge Courses?
ELA: Yes, schools can enroll juniors in the ELA Bridge course, especially if the students plan to take a college-level course as seniors (College in the High School, Running Start, AP, etc.). The placement agreement will be applicable to seniors who enter college the next fall term immediately after graduation and to juniors who enter a college-level course in their senior year. In both cases, the student must fulfill the Placement Agreement criteria of earning a B or better in the course.

Math: There is not a Bridge to College option for juniors in math.

13. Can Running Start students take the Bridge courses?
Yes, but not for college-level credit; the student would need to take the Bridge course at their high school as they are offered only at the high school and are not college-level courses.

14. Can students who scored a level 1 on the Smarter Balanced Assessment take these courses?
Yes, with some caveats. While the Bridge courses provide a solid learning experience for any student interested in going to college, they are designed to prepare students to be college-ready within one year so they are most effective for students scoring in the level 2 range.

Specifically for the Bridge to College Math course, students who scored in level 1 on the Smarter Balanced assessment can take the course but will likely find the material in the course very challenging, especially if they have not yet been exposed to Algebra II material. Schools and districts are encouraged to use their best professional knowledge for placing students in the course for the coming year.

15. Does “B or better” mean that a student needs to earn a B for the whole year, or first semester or second semester?
For Math, “B or better” means a B in the final term of the year (depending on individual school calendars, could be either second semester or third trimester). For English the B or better can be either fall or spring term.

D. Course Content, General Information

16. Where can we access sample parent letters and information for students and parents?
These resources can be found at: http://www.bridgetocollegecourses.dev.s360.is

17. Where can I find the materials for the ELA modules?
Some materials in the Bridge to College English course are copyright protected so the course is currently password protected. Teachers who are currently teaching the course have passwords and can access the course.

Bridge to College English is curriculum developed by Washington educators in the BTCE program. The course modules are drawn and adapted from three primary sources:

• California State University Expository Reading and Writing Course (https://www.calstate.edu/eap/englishcourse/index.html)
• Literacy Ready course from the Southern Regional Education Board (http://www.sreb.org/page/1683/literacy_ready.html)
• Engage New York curricular materials developed for the Common Core (https://www.engageny.org/resource/grade-12-english-language-arts)
For more general details about the course and its source materials, see the Bridge to College web site: (https://bridgetocollegecourses.org/)

18. Where can I find the materials for the Math course?
All the course materials are available on the OSPI Math Bridge webpage:

Teachers and administrators who are registered to offer the Math course are granted access to the Canvas math course for access to course assessments.

18. Is anything like this being planned for science?
Colleges do not “place” students in science classes and have no “remedial” science courses like in English and math, so there is not the same need for courses that would help reduce the number of students taking precollege classes in college. There has been some discussion at a statewide level of a comparable course in science based on the Next Gen Science Standards but there are no firm plans or funding in place.