The Bridge to New Opportunities

When one door closes, another opens. With Kilian Community College closing its doors last May, the University of Sioux Falls acquired their Bridges Program and the students who were enrolled. This program is for people whose first language is not English, and they have a desire to improve their English speaking skills.

Dr. Randy Nelson, the Director of International Education, recently took on the role as the Director of the Bridges Program. He has helped guide the students through their English learning journey.

“The courses are integrated. In other words, we don’t have separate reading, writing, listening, speaking and grammar classes. All language components are integrated in each class, and they [the students] attend classes two days a week, three hours at a time for a total of 6 contact hours per week,” Nelson says.

There are sixty-five students who are utilizing the Bridges Program at the University of Sioux Falls. Chris Jallah, who is from Liberia, says he appreciates Dr. Nelson and his dedication to the program.

“We who want to work hard and get back in school, can start from here and move to another level [of education],” he says.

Another student, Leteamlek Okubai from Eritrea, says she likes the Bridges Program. “I love it a lot. I am just so appreciative to get this opportunity and to go forward from here,” she says.

The program offers two levels of English coursesbeginning and intermediate. The second semester will offer beginning English at the second level and intermediate English at the fourth level.

If you, or somebody you know, are interested in enrolling into the Bridges Program, please contact Dr. Randy Nelson at or (605) 575-2084.

Story by Marissa Lute | Video edited by Shelby Kinney & Jessica Perez