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Assessment of a Summer Bridge Program: Seven Years and Counting

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Conference

2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2018

Conference Session

Minorities in Engineering Division Technical Session 2

Tagged Division

Minorities in Engineering

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

18

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/27631

Download Count

13

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Paper Authors

biography

Robert W. Whalin Jackson State University

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Dr. Whalin, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Director, Coastal Hazards Center, Jackson State University. He is Director Emeritus of the Engineer Research and Development Center, Vicksburg, MS. He received his PhD in Oceanography from Texas A&M University in 1971 and is a Registered Professional Engineer. Dr. Whalin was Director of Army Research Laboratory (1998-2003; Adelphi, MD), and Technical Director /Director of Waterways Experiment Station (1985-1998; Vicksburg, MS). He has authored/co-authored over a hundred technical papers and reports during his career in private industry, government and academia. His current research interests are nearshore wave transformations, coastal structures, tsunami inundation, hurricane surges, high performance computing, and engineering education.

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Qing Pang Jackson State University

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Ms Qing Pang is Instructor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, College of Science, Engineering & Technology, Jackson State University. She earned her MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology in 2000. She worked for several private companies before joining Jackson State University in 2007 as an research associate. Starting from 2013, she has been working as instructor for the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Her current teaching and research interests are robotics, wireless sensor networks, signal processing, embedded software and engineering education.

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La Shon N. Lowe Jackson State University

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La Shon Lowe is the Administrative Assistant for the Coastal Resilience Center of Excellence at Jackson State University. She earned her Associate’s Degree at Hinds Community College in Elementary Education, Bachelor’s at Jackson State University in Interdisciplinary Studies with a Concentration in Education and is currently pursuing her Master’s in Early Childhood Education at Jackson State University. She worked in the Jackson Public School System as a Teacher’s Assistant for ten years before joining Jackson State University in 2005. Her current research interests are the importance of building strong foundations by enforcing the need for early preschool education and engineering education.

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Josie H. Latham Jackson State University, Undergraduate Studies and CyberLearning

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Ms. Josie H. Latham serves as the Coordinator of Intervention Services in the Department of Undergraduate Studies and CyberLearning at Jackson Store University. She earned her MA in Sociology from Jackson State University in 1992. She worked as the Executive Director of the I.S. Sanders YMCA for six years and Vice President of Community Services at the Jackson Housing Authority for twelve years prior to joining Jackson State University in 2008. Her current interest include retention strategies, recruitment and mentoring of incoming freshmen students.

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Abstract

Analyses of new university engineering degree programs revealed that graduation rates were considerably lower than desired. The majority of first time freshman engineering majors were struggling with mathematics and changing to majors requiring less mathematics. Most did not meet the College Readiness Benchmark for Mathematics. The direct consequence was five to six years to graduate for far too many students. We initiated a ten week summer first time freshman engineering bridge program for the student population with ACT Math scores from 17-25 to increase retention and graduation in engineering and decrease time to graduate. Bridge students were enrolled in College Algebra and University Success (required of freshman) the first summer term, and in Trigonometry the second summer term. Program assessment was accomplished using a control group of all first time freshman engineering majors with identical ACT Math scores (17-25) that began the same fall semester. This protocol has been maintained for the 7 year program duration. The nominal four year graduation rate before the bridge program was less than 5% and the six year graduation rate was about 23% for this Math ACT score group. The data indicate there are two distinct populations within the 17-25 ACT Math scores. They are groups with 17-19 and 20-25 scores. For the 20-25 group, the most dramatic result was a decrease in time to graduate by nearly a year when accounting for both December and May graduates. The 20-25 bridge students have a 4 year engineering graduation rate of 41% relative to 17% for the control group (~100 each). The 17-19 bridge students had a 4 year engineering graduation rate of 12% relative to 3% for the control group. The six year engineering graduation rate for the 20-25 bridge students was 50% and the university graduation rate was 55%. The six year engineering graduation rate for the 17-19 bridge students was 14% and the university graduation rate was 41%. The full paper contains comprehensive analyses of the seven cohorts (2009 through 2016) for engineering, STEM and university retention rates, graduation rates and time to graduate. It includes one, two and three year retention rates, four, five and six year graduation rates and discusses some subtle implications from the data. To date 100% bridge students are state residents and all are African American. The resident bridge program is offered cost free (tuition, room and board) to the student except for incidental expenses. Our summer bridge program is relatively unique in its length, enrolling students for college credit (8 semester hours), forming a community of engineering learners, sustaining the program for eight summers and demonstrating that the program can more than double the graduation rate for the student population with 17-25 ACT Math scores.

Whalin, R. W., & Pang, Q., & Lowe, L. S. N., & Latham, J. H. (2017, June), Assessment of a Summer Bridge Program: Seven Years and Counting Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/27631

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