Students face a lot of pressure when it comes to planning for their future. Choosing a course in college could not only make or break the next four years of your life but, would be your stepping stone towards your dream job.
For senior high school students, this comes all the more difficult as they may realize that the strands they took may no longer fit the courses they want in a college.
Maybe it was because of a simple change of heart, or maybe because they discovered new skills over a span of two years.
But don’t panic! Be sure to review what courses in college you can take depending on the strand you’re currently taking. Check out our complete guide to senior high school strands here.
The good news is that all senior high school students can take entrance exams to any university they want.
That means there’s no stopping those who took the Technical-Vocational-Livelihood track from taking the UPCAT or other college admissions tests any more than those in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) are.
Now that you’re all set up, you might want to take a step back and ask yourself the following questions:
What can I do?
If you want to take a college course unrelated to your senior high school strand, you have to take a bridging program. This will let you take additional classes that will help you catch up on the required subjects in college.
For example, students who are not part of the STEM strand under the General Academic Track will have to take pre-calculus, chemistry, and physics subjects under the bridging program so they can take science-related courses.
Meanwhile, students who are not graduates of the accounting business management strand will have to take business finance, marketing, and economics subjects through the bridging program.
Take note, however, that there are exceptions to this rule. Some universities may not even require bridging programs since they rely on prerequisites they offer in the course of your study.
For example, the UP Diliman College of Science says that while its curriculum is designed for STEM graduates, non-STEM graduates can still enroll provided that they take up additional courses, specifically on Math, during their stay in college.
Meanwhile, the De La Salle Medical Health and Sciences Institute offers a specific bridging and enrichment program that would aid students who are not from the STEM strand.
Why do I have to take a bridging program?
As you surely would know, there are a total of 31 subjects under senior high school curriculum, 15 of which are core subjects that everyone must go through, regardless of the strand they chose. Seven of the remaining subjects are contextualized or applied subjects, which are also taken up by everyone but are customized to better suit the respective senior high school strands.
What most sets the senior high school strands apart are nine specialized subjects, which are taken exclusively by students based on their chosen career track and senior high strand. This is the reason why, for instance, senior high students who took the sports track may not immediately be allowed to take science-related courses in college– because they’re not be equipped with the necessary skills the same way that students in the STEM strand are.
Does this mean I have to pay more tuition for additional courses?
If you’re studying in public universities, you don’t have to worry about additional payments since tuition is free! For private school students, you will have to cash out for these additional course requirements. But hey, that additional payment could be well worth it in the end!
Are bridging programs the same for every university?
The short answer is no. Classes offered under the bridging program will depend on what each university thinks will better help their students in the courses they take.
When will I take the bridging program?
Again, this is dependent on the university. Some may offer classes before the start of the normal semester, right before your first year of college. Some may also offer these during the summer term after your first year.
Remember, the best thing to do is to make sure you clarify what additional courses you need to take from the admissions office right at the start of the semester. That way, you wouldn’t have to worry about missing out on required classes when the time comes for you to graduate—imagine the horror that would be!