University Program

Bridges to Prosperity’s University Program engages students from colleges and universities around the world, providing resources and opportunities to use academic training to provide essential infrastructure for villagers suffering from rural isolation.  University teams play an important and unique role in furthering B2P’s mission towards establishing a sustainable bridge building operation in-country. B2P aims to build local capacity instead of building a dependence on foreign aid by training local construction managers, masons, and partners such as universities and established NGOs. The B2P University Program was developed to empower university teams to become self-sufficient entities who can aid in building local capacity.

University Chapters who elect not to build a bridge have the option of traveling on inspection trips for completed B2P bridges, tagging along for short durations of other student projects, and exploring topics relevant to our work through research and development, including non-technical projects. To start a chapter, click here.


“Students with...experience, such as Bridges to Prosperity, know what engineers need to do, technically and personally, in order to make a difference.”
Phil Jordan, Director of Professional Development, University of Iowa
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Start a Chapter

Would you like to get your university involved with B2P? Start a Student Chapter today!

Forming a Student Chapter is the first step to getting your university involved with Bridges to Prosperity. B2P Student Chapters have access to training materials, are eligible to participate in inspection and tag-along trips and take advantage of B2P’s 501(c)3 tax exempt as they begin fundraising for future projects. To start a chapter, click here.

Requirements for Starting a Chapter:

  • At least one faculty member to act as Faculty Advisor
  • A minimum of 5 undergrad/ graduate students who are enrolled at least half time
  • Three of these students must be members of the College of Engineering or equivalent program

For a full explanation of the requirements and expectations of a B2P Student Chapter, please refer to the University Program Webinar.

Bronze Projects

Work with B2P staff to design and construct a bridge in one of B2P’s program countries. Learn more about this introduction to the B2P bridge building process.

A limited number of Bronze Projects are offered each year in countries where Bridges to Prosperity has permanent field staff. Student teams selected to complete a Bronze Project are paired with a B2P Country Manager and assigned a bridge site. Bronze Projects serve as an introduction B2P’s mission and bridge building process and are therefore ideal for novice teams. After a University team successfully completes one or more Bronze projects and has identified an in-country partner, they will be prepared to apply for Gold Projects in subsequent years.

University Team Responsibilities:

  • Complete University Training Modules
  • Assessment Trip
  • Complete design of bridge based on topographic survey completed either by Field Staff or by the team on the Assessment Trip
  • Compile a Construction and Safety Plan consisting of a construction schedule, material budget, and hazard mitigation plan 
  • Local Builder Training Support
  • Secure Bridge Corps Advisor/s
  • Spend at least 3 weeks on construction site
  • Financial commitment 
    • $12,500 to B2P for project related expenses
    • All student travel and living expenses

Bridges to Prosperity Staff Support:

  • Site Identification and Selection
  • Topographic Survey
  • Community Survey
  • Tripartite agreement
  • Material purchase and transport
  • Site preparation
  • Safety equipment and tools
  • In-country partner development

Bridge Corps Member (Advisor) Responsibilities:

  • Basic design support
  • Safety oversight during construction

For more detailed information on the University Program Structure, please refer to the University Program Webinar.

Gold Projects

Start a bridge project anywhere in the world and manage the design, fundraising, logistics, and construction of a B2P bridge.

Once teams have connected with an in-country partner they are eligible to apply for a Gold Project. To be accepted, teams must demonstrate fundraising ability, strong Bridge Corps Mentor or Builder support, states based operationalization, and progress towards in-country partner development. Teams must re-apply yearly for Gold projects until they have a fully developed in-country partner and qualify to apply for a Platinum Project.

University Team Responsibilities:

  • Complete University Training Modules
  • Assessment Trip 
  • Complete design of bridge based on topographic survey
  • Compile a Construction and Safety Plan consisting of a construction schedule, material budget, and hazard mitigation plan 
  • Local Builder Training Support
  • Secure traveling Bridge Corps Mentor/s or Builder/s
  • Spend 6-8 weeks on construction site
  • Financial commitment 
    • $8,000 to B2P for project related expenses
    • Fee for services provided by B2P Field Staff
    • All student travel and living expenses

In-Country Partner Responsibilities

  • Provide support in one or more of the following areas
    • Site Identification and Selection
    • Topographic Survey
    • Community Survey
    • Tripartite agreement
    • Material purchase and transport
    • Site preparation
    • Safety equipment and tools

Bridges to Prosperity Staff Support:

  • Tripartite agreement
  • Partner Development and Oversight
  • Construction oversight for Gold teams without Bridge Corps Builder
  • Fee for Services not covered by In-Country Partner
    • Site Identification and Selection
    • Topographic Survey
    • Community Survey
    • Tripartite agreement
    • Material purchase and transport
    • Site preparation
    • Safety equipment and tools
    • Construction oversight

Bridge Corps Member (Mentor or Builder) Responsibilities:

  • Advanced design support
  • Safety oversight during construction
  • Full construction oversight if Bridge Corps Builder

For more detailed information on the University Program Structure, please refer to the University Program Webinar.

Platinum Project

Complete a bridge project with a local partner and local builders independent of B2P staff.

After completing 2-3 Gold Projects and developing a strong in-country partnership teams are eligible to apply for a Platinum Project.

University Team Responsibilities:

  • Complete University Program Training Modules
  • Assessment Trip
  • Complete design of bridge based on topographic survey 
  • Compile a Construction and Safety Plan consisting of a construction schedule, material budget, and hazard mitigation plan 
  • Secure traveling Bridge Corps Builder/s
  • Sign MOU with In-country Partner
  • Financial commitment 
    • $1,250 to B2P for project related expenses
    • Cable- $4/m
    • Clamps at cost
    • Cost of all materials not locally contributed
    • Bridge maintenance
    • Student travel and living expenses

Bridges to Prosperity Staff Support:

  • Emergencies
  • Monitoring and Evaluation of bridge projects
  • Bridge Inspections

Bridge Corps Member (Builder) Responsibilities:

  • Advanced design support
  • Safety oversight during construction
  • Full construction oversight

In-Country Partner Responsibilities

  • Site Identification and Selection
  • Topographic Survey
  • Community Survey
  • Tripartite agreement
  • Material transport and purchase
  • Site preparation
  • Safety equipment and tools
  • Backlog of alternate sites
  • Maintenance
  • Local bank account

For more detailed information on the University Program Structure, please refer to the University Program Webinar.

Become a B2P Ambassador

Learn more about opportunities for University Program alumni to mentor current teams by becoming a B2P Ambassador.

With the new Ambassador Program, Bridges to Prosperity provides a way for University Chapter members to stay involved after they graduate. Chapter members that have completed a University Project (Program or Chapter) and have demonstrated strong leadership potential during both bridge planning and construction may apply to be part of the B2P University Ambassador Program to serve as a mentor for a team’s chapter project. This program provides the opportunity for individuals to pass on their experience to the next cohort of Bridge Builders and to continue to support the Bridges to Prosperity mission.

Ambassadors serve as the first line of communication between B2P and University teams to provide information about the process of bridge planning and the responsibilities of the team. Ambassadors will be in regular contact with the team’s student leader and will participate in monthly calls with B2P staff.

To learn more about the Ambassador Program, download the full list of Roles and Responsibilities. To apply, submit a CV and cover letter expressing your interest to university@bridgestoprosperity.org.

 

“The Ambassador program is a wonderful way for me to pass on the knowledge and skills I learned while working with B2P as a college student. It’s a fantastic feeling knowing that my experience as a bridge builder is aiding B2P’s university chapters as they work to alleviate rural poverty. It feels as though a part of me travels along with them as they work alongside their communities in Nicaragua or Bolivia or Rwanda and that brings me a great sense of joy and satisfaction. Serving as a Bridges to Prosperity Ambassador has truly been a blessing.”  – Ethan Gingerich, former Continental Crossings (University of Iowa) member

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