At Bridgeway Academy, we consider academic advisors to be the unsung heroes of homeschooling. Every day, our advisors are there to provide support of all kinds to our wonderful students and their families. From enrollment through graduation, Bridgeway’s academic advisors are there to help during every stage of the homeschool journey.
Our academic advisors shall remain unsung no more, as every so often we’ll be spotlighting some of the amazing advisors in this blog. In this installment, we’ll meet two academic advisors who are new to Bridgeway–Jessica Cunningham and Christina Mondolo. Learn a little bit more about Jessica and Christina as well as the important role an academic advisor plays.
Bridgeway Academy: Jessica and Christina, thank you for spending some time helping people better understand the advisor role and how important it is for students and families. What brought you to Bridgeway, and what about it appealed to you as an academic advisor?
Jessica Cunningham: I worked with Bridgeway’s Head of School, Chris Hardin, for a period as an academic advisor at a cyber school. I saw his posts on LinkedIn about Bridgeway and was intrigued. I spent a lot of time on Bridgeway’s website and was impressed by the customized education and educational philosophy. Bridgeway’s philosophy deeply resonated with me, and I’ve practiced a similar approach in my seven years as an educator. I jumped at the chance to apply as soon as I was able.
Christina Mondolo: I have been homeschooling my own children for the last four years, and I love that Bridgeway is helping families that want to homeschool as well.
BA: What type of experience do you have in this or any similar role?
JC: I taught for four years at the high school level, worked as the director of student activities at a college for one year, and was an academic advisor at a cyber school for two years before taking this role at Bridgeway.
CM: I was an elementary teacher for over 18 years, and I have homeschooled my own children for over four years.
BA: What are you most looking forward to in your role at Bridgeway?
JC: I have been loving getting to know our families, forming relationships with them, and tapping into each student’s strengths.
CM: I am looking forward to helping families and sharing my experiences in homeschooling. I love seeing families become confident in homeschooling their own children.
BA: How do you think you can make a quick impact on students and families?
JC: I aspire to show empathy and support for all of my families! I hope that each family I work with knows that I care about them and that I want their student to grow and flourish.
CM: By sharing how I was able to homeschool my own children and sharing with them that it is possible to be successful even though they may not feel confident in the beginning.
BA: How do you see an academic advisor making a difference in a student’s life?
JC: Academic advisors have the ability to get to know the strengths and areas of improvement of our students. Being able to customize accordingly and offer support can help students to flourish as individuals, and even discover a passion for learning along the way.
CM: I want to listen to the families and help them choose the right program for each of their children. Homeschooling can be done in so many different ways, and I want to be able to help each family choose what is right for them.
BA: Many Bridgeway families rave about their advisors. Is that something you noticed as you were learning more about Bridgeway during the hiring process? If so, why do you think that’s the case?
JC: I definitely noticed this as I was reading reviews about Bridgeway prior to applying. I think this is the case because the advisors offer one-on-one support to families. Many of my families have expressed feeling as though they’ve fallen through the cracks in traditional school settings. At Bridgeway, advisors are able to help these students thrive and provide them with the attention they deserve.
BA: Many people–teachers, advisors, students, and parents–express how it feels like they’re all part of a larger Bridgeway “family.” Has your early experience here been similar? If so, how?
JC: Absolutely! Many of the advisors have been so helpful and have been generous with their time, checking in to see if I have questions or to see how I am adjusting. I also love how supportive everyone is of one another. This is the first place I’ve worked that gave shout-outs to specific employees for the good things they’ve been doing during every faculty meeting!
BA: What’s the one piece of advice you would give prospective homeschoolers right now, especially since there is so much up in the air over returning to in-person school (masks, COVID, etc.)? In other words, why choose homeschooling over returning to a brick-and-mortar school?
CM: I know the first year can be filled with so much uncertainty, but once you find what works for your family, you will see your children thrive.
BA: What advice would you give to families who are considering choosing Bridgeway as their homeschool partner?
JC: You will receive a huge amount of support from Bridgeway. We have a wide variety of curriculum packages and are able to customize in such a way that a student of any learning style can feel supported. If you aren’t feeling confident about homeschooling on your own, the support here will help to ease your fears. Don’t let your fears keep you from getting the most out of your child’s education.
CM: I have my own daughter enrolled in the program and we love it. It is very engaging and they offer a lot of support. It has been the best decision we made for my daughter’s education.
Our many thanks to Jessica and Christina for taking the time to answer these questions–and a big thanks to all of Bridgeway Academy’s academic advisors for being there for families and students every step of the way. These past few school years haven’t been the easiest or smoothest for many families, but with the help of these highly qualified advisors, making the transition to–or even from–homeschooling is much smoother.
Bridgeway Academy offers a high-quality education in a variety of forms–online, textbook, self-paced, live classes, and more–as well as the flexibility you need. Call us today at (800) 863-1474 to learn more and see why so many families trust Bridgeway Academy with their child’s education.