Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
Community Engagement Division
As part of a partnership between a local community college and university, we have established a summer bridge program that has been proceeding since summer 2017. During the last three years, it has developed and evolved becoming larger and increasingly successful; even more so than originally planned. Targeted students for our summer bridge program include students from diverse backgrounds; including minorities, females and economically disadvantaged individuals.
For the past three summers, community college students have spent forty-hours a week across two summer months conducting both field and laboratory research at the university with a focus on environmental sciences and engineering. Paired with graduate students and professors, the freshman-level interns have practiced graduate-level research including on-site at several local wetlands. Various projects have been undertaken, ranging from ecological studies on topics including potentially harmful vectors like mosquitoes and ecologically critical and valuable pollinators like bees, vertebrate presence, and habitat selection, and environmental water quality and its impact on both aquatic invertebrate and plant community dynamics. Through our summer bridge program, we have created a pyramid-like synergistic effect, whereby our initial group of community college interns has advanced to being senior mentors to high school students and the cohorts of freshman-level community college students.
Each year our students advance to the next experience level of mentorship, impacting and sharing their learning with inducted mentees in the various levels of the community of learners. This has created a spider-web effect, which has now impacted hundreds of early college high school students, community college students and both undergraduate and graduate students at the university level. All the while, the local community has been impacted positively through presentations and sharing of the education and awareness of wetlands being cataloged and reported.
Interactions between our students, parks and wildlife personnel, our local zoological society members and other community volunteers, have led to increased awareness of the importance of wetlands to our environment and health. The opportunities awarded to our minority students have additionally made an impact in our community, holistically advancing their education and career goals.
Golding, P., & Geller, H. E., & Golding, D. E., & Jimenez Enciso, A. K., & Opuni, K., & Raj, A., & Pitcher, M. T., & Navar, C. A. J., & Hotchkin, P. E. (2020, June), Lessons Learned from a Summer Bridge Research Partnership Between a Community College and a University Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34909
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