The first year is reinvented.

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A Comprehensive First-Year Program

Welcome to BridgeEdU, an innovative educational experience that is The First Year of College Reinvented. This is not an alternative to college or a traditional ‘gap year’: BridgeEdU is a personalized, affordable year or semester that will be a new on-ramp to your success in higher education and beyond.

The transition from high school to college is a challenge for many students. Approximately 30% of first year college students either drop out or do not return to the same school for their second year. Many factors contribute to this. The end result is that only 60% of college freshmen graduate within 6 years, and the average student in a public university graduates with $36,000 in debt.

BridgeEdU: A Great Start to Your College Career

BridgeEdU is a unique first year college program that combines core academic courses, real-world internships and service experiences, with the coaching to help students succeed in academics and life. BridgeEdU Scholars will have the opportunity to earn 20+ transferrable college credits. Our curriculum focuses on courses necessary for your degree such as writing, communications, and math. Your professional internships will be matched to your interests, and they will be integral to the BridgeEdU experience. Throughout the year, you will work in an environment rich with resources to develop the skills that will lead to timely college completion.

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To create a detailed understanding of academic skills, personal and professional interests.
Core college courses taught by professors and supported by trained coaches.
The opportunity to make a meaningful positive impact in the community by working in leading service organizations.
The best way to explore career interests while making valuable connections.


  • Community College of Baltimore County
  • University of Baltimore
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Experiential Partnerships

Through our relationships with the Community College of Baltimore County and the University of Baltimore, BridgeEdU Scholars complete core academic courses that earn transferrable college credits and engage in experiential education opportunities.

Innovator of the Year

The Daily Record's Innovator of the Year award shines a light on men and women who have created new products, services or programs that have improved their fields. We are proud to call our founder and CEO, Wes Moore, a 2015 Innovator of the Year.

Focus on Success in School and Career

BridgeEdU Scholars are passionate about college and exploring their career goals. Our Scholars are highly engaged, team players who have strong interests in developing their academic skills while getting hands-on experience through internships and service engagements. Our scholars may be seeking an alternative to the traditional first year of college.

  • Engaging


    12:1 Scholar-to-Coach Ratio
  • Working Capital

    Working Capital

    Professional Internships at Leading Local Businesses
  • Personalized


    Learning Plan for Each Scholar
  • Community


    Scholars Collaborate to Develop Teamwork Skills
  • Social Capital

    Social Capital

    Wide-Ranging Service Learning Opportunities
  • High Impact

    High Impact

    Earn a Full Year of Transferable College Credit

The Leadership Team

  • Nick Kouwenhoven
  • Wes Moore
  • Debora Johnson-Ross, PhD
Co-founder & Chief Operating Officer

Prior to co-founding BridgeEdU, Nick served in several leadership positions at Sylvan Learning, including Vice President of Operations, Product Management, Communications and Support. While at Sylvan, he led its math business, managed all franchise-facing communications, and brought the first online math solution to market for the company. Nick also spent six years as Director of Business Development and Academic Testing at Prometric, Inc., the world's leading provider of computer-based assessment and examination services.

Nick began his career in leading advertising agencies in New York and product management at MCI. He earned a BA in History and French from Connecticut College and an MBA from the Darden School at the University of Virginia.
Founder & Chief Executive Officer

Wes Moore is the Founder and CEO of BridgeEdU. Wes founded BridgeEdU to become a better onramp to higher education and career preparedness. By providing an innovative path to higher education excellence, BridgeEdU aims to engage scholars in a new way while democratizing the pathway to college completion.

Moore is the New York Times bestselling author of two books, The Other Wes Moore, and The Work. He has been featured by USA Today, TIME Magazine, “Meet the Press,” “The Colbert Report”, and appears regularly on MSNBC, and NPR, among many others.

Moore graduated Phi Theta Kappa from Valley Forge Military College and Phi Beta Kappa from Johns Hopkins University.  He completed an MLitt in International Relations from Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. Afterward, Wes served as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division in the United States Army and participated in a combat tour of duty in Afghanistan. Currently, Wes lives in Baltimore with his wife and two children.
Senior Vice President of Academic Innovation

Debora has held faculty and leadership positions at McDaniel College for the past 14 years. Her experience with first year programs, second year programs and academic assessment positions her well to shape the work of BridgeEdU. As a political scientist, Debora has taught courses incorporating social entrepreneurship and service learning and is an expert on Cameroon politics.

Debora is on the boards of LINK-Up Development Group (Cameroon), the Bryant Educational Leadership Group, and Common Ground on the Hill. She earned an AB in Government from Wofford College, an MS in Contract and Acquisition Management from Florida Institute of Technology, and an MA and PhD in International Studies from the University of South Carolina. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and a Fulbright Scholar.