Bridging programs have been shown to be valuable because they allow students access to higher education and lay a solid foundation by equipping them with the knowledge and skills necessary for success in mainstream diplomas such as engineering. Most bridging programs focus on improving students’ skills in Science, Math and English. However they fail to address their critical thinking skills, which are deficiencies often present in students enrolled in these bridging programs. This leaves students inadequately prepared for entry into engineering programs and more likely to struggle in problem based or design courses. At Texas A&M University at Qatar, a large proportion of the students in the bridging program come from an educational system which fosters rote learning instead of conceptual learning. In this paper, we describe a new hands-on course run by student instructors that addresses this issue by introducing bridging program students to critical thinking, problem solving, teamwork and engineering design skills. We also present survey results from the participating students about the skills acquired in the course.


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