August 9, 2021
August 9, 2021
August 21, 2021
Florida Agriculture and Mechanical University has hosted a summer bridge program called Engineering Concepts Institute (ECI) on and off since 1987. The purpose of the summer bridge program is to ease the students’ transition from high school to college, while preparing students for the successful completion of an engineering degree. ECI scholars are provided with an upperclassman peer mentor, learning skills and tools necessary to become effective and efficient engineering students. Over the 30 years of the program, there have been different models and coordinators, some years lack of funding has meant the program was not incorporated. In the last six years, there have been two different models. The first model is a six-week summer bridge program, where students start early with engineering fundamentals, first year engineering lab, math and science preparation, engineering design projects, and field trips. The second model is an intensive 5-day summer bridge program, where students come to campus a week early to participate in math preparatory classes, student skill workshops and team building activities. During the math preparatory classes, students are exposed to everyday and engineering examples that make a connection between theory and application to instill a better appreciation for mathematics.
Engineering summer bridge programs have long been adopted to improve the transition and hopefully retention of minority students. Even with proven success, the difficult challenge has always been the high cost of these types of programs and the ability to scale-up to assist more participants. The purpose of this paper is to detail the success of both summer program models and how a less cost-intensive 5-day summer program can be created that provides comparable results to a full six-week summer bridge program.
Caldwell, C., & Hughes, R. (2021, August), An Engineering Summer Bridge Program Utilizing a Safe Space to Increase Math Efficacy Paper presented at 2021 First-Year Engineering Experience, Virtual . https://peer.asee.org/38368
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