June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
22.654.1 - 22.654.13
Evaluation of the Impacts of Math Course Placement Improvement Achieved through a Summer Bridge ProgramAbstractA summer bridge program for incoming engineering and computer science freshmen wasconducted in 2009. The primary purpose of this program was to improve themathematics course placement for incoming students who initially place into a coursebelow Calculus I as determined through our math placement examination. The studentsretake the university’s math placement examination after completing the bridge programto determine if they may enroll in a more advanced mathematics course than the one intowhich they initially placed. If a student improves his or her math placement, the programis considered successful for that student.The mathematics portion of the bridge program centers on using the ALEKS softwarepackage for targeted, self-guided learning. In 2009, the program took place exclusivelyin an on-campus format, and also featured a required residential component andadditional engineering activities for the students. The program’s duration was 4 weeks,and students were expected to improve their math placement by at least one semester. Itis expected that improving their math placement will reduce the student’s time-to-graduation which should in turn improve retention rates and eventually graduation rates.However, the program will not reduce the time-to-graduation if students do not succeedin their subsequent math courses. Data from the 2009 cohort have been collected andanalyzed to judge the effectiveness of the program with respect to the students’performance in future math courses. It was found that in all categories of bridge programstudents, the students performed as well as the class average, while some categories ofstudents clearly benefited from attending the summer program.In addition, further factors were considered with regards to the students’ success in thebridge program. These factors resulted in some changes which were implemented in the2010 summer bridge program. The 2010 program saw a larger percentage of studentsimprove their math course placement, with 83% of the students improving their mathplacement in 2010 vs. 69% in 2009. These factors are discussed as well. However, asonly one cohort of students has been impacted by these changes, further study is neededbefore definitive conclusions regarding the impact of the changes can be drawn.
Reisel, J. R., & Rineck, L., & Jablonski, M., & Munson, E. V., & Hosseini, H. (2011, June), Evaluation of the Impacts of Math Course Placement Improvement Achieved through a Summer Bridge Program Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. https://peer.asee.org/17935
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