How did you benefit from educational opportunities outside the school? (UC prompt)
For those who start their studies in the U.S. with linguistic disadvantages, AP and IB courses are unattainable dreams. As with many of my fellow international students in California, I could not benefit from the virtues of sophisticated academic courses because of my status as an E.L.D student. However, my longing for more profound learning finally led me to other substitutive programs for advanced studies. When I discovered Fullerton College’s Bridge Program, I felt as if this program has been designed for me. The Bridge Program fulfilled the demands of earnest high school students who sought self development. As one who has experienced the educational benefit of F.C.’s Bridge Program, I am glad for the opportunity to discuss how this program broadened my views and relieved the burden of tuition.The Bridge Program introduced me to a world outside my high school by offering opportunities for self improvement. Fullerton College is equipped with talented professors and various academic courses, having relatively few restrictions on choosing courses. Thus, I no longer needed to be worried about all the prerequisites for AP courses, since the quality of teaching was equally as good as that of my school’s AP and IB programs. Furthermore, the flexibility in class schedules honed my ability to study independently. There were only four hours of lecture per week, and I had to do research on my own in order to absorb the contents comprehensively. Although a course such as general biology was somewhat challenging, I felt great pleasure in challenging myself, going beyond what I could do in high school. Since I discovered the field of biology, I have strongly desired to take AP Biology. Although my need could not be satisfied in High school, I am now in a general Biology class at FJC and looking forward to Organismal Biology and Cellular Biology. This infinite cycle of challenges has fully prepared me for the more sophisticated courses of study within the UC System.Another striking merit of the Bridge Program is the completely free tuition, which enabled me to study despite a harsh degree of financial difficulty. My family’s economic situation plummeted as my mother nation, South Korea, underwent a series of political and economic hardships in the 1990’s. At that time, my parents discovered that Junior Colleges commonly require non-U.S. citizens to pay more than a thousand dollars for a single course! No matter how much someone earnestly hopes for a better education, it is impossible to afford that cost unless the financial support of one’s family is exceptionally strong. However, as my parents and I were about to give up on this great opportunity, the supervisor of the admissions office informed us that all tuitions are free for high school students. It was impressive that the college did not give up supporting academic pursuit in the midst of a this state’s budget crisis. I hope to compensate F.C. for its sincere help by achieving successful results in my own field of study. Thanks to the special curriculum, I successfully finished summer programs with two shining ‘A’s in Chemistry and Trigonometry. And all this has been done without the pressures of financial support.Educator Robert M. Hutchins asserts that the object of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives. As a student and a newcomer to the educational field in the U.S., I have been trying to train myself by making the best use of all available academic avenues. The Bridge Program helped me the most in achieving this goal. In this sense, this blessed curriculum is the greatest educational opportunity I have taken advantage of.