June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
Minorities in Engineering
24.251.1 - 24.251.10
Can an engineering summer bridge program demonstrate effectively transition underrepresented minority students leading to increased student success? A pilot studyMany approaches have been utilized to address gaps in retention and graduation rates betweenunderrepresented minority (URMs) students and majority students in engineering programs. The rootcause of such disparities varies between institutions. At selective institutions, all students have alreadymet academic qualifications and have demonstrated strong potential for success. However, while thetransition from high school to college poses risks for all students, research has indicated that URMs whoare otherwise academically prepared are particularly at risk at this leverage point. In 2005, to addresstransition issues for URM in student success, a minority program in a large selective Midwesternuniversity launched a five-week summer bridge program to simulate the rigor of the first semester ofthe freshman engineering curriculum. This transition-focused program was designed to prepareincoming URM freshmen engineering students for the cultural shift from high school to competition at aglobal institution.This study quantitatively and qualitatively examines the effect of this summer bridge program on theURM transition by examining participants’ confidence about college and sense of belonging ascompared to a control group. In addition, this paper will present an initial analysis of 5 cohorts of URMstudents who participated from 2005 – 2009. This quantitative study will compare the first yearretention rates of these URM students, by cohort, with two groups: (1) URMs that did not participate inthe bridge program and (2) the remainder of the cohort. This work is the first step towards a rigorousanalysis of how socio-academic acclimatization to our University affects success of URMs in engineeringand how these analyses can inform the development of our student programs.
Dickerson, D., & Solis, F., & Womack, V. B., & Zephirin, T., & Stwalley, C. S. (2014, June), Can an Engineering Summer Bridge Program Effectively Transition Underrepresented Minority Students Leading to Increased Student Success? Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20142
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