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Reimagining Summer Bridge: An Evolution in Best Practices to Support Incoming First-Year Engineering Students

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Conference

2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Minneapolis, MN

Publication Date

August 23, 2022

Start Date

June 26, 2022

End Date

June 29, 2022

Conference Session

First-Year Programs Division Technical Session 1: Student Success Boot Camps, Summer Bridge Programs, and Living Learning Communities

Page Count

12

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/41608

Download Count

39

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Paper Authors

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Lauren Griggs Pennsylvania State University

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Dr. Lauren Griggs received her B.S. in Engineering Science from The University of Virginia. She received her Doctor of Philosophy in Biomedical Engineering from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), where she worked in the field of Cell and Matrix Biomechanics. She completed her Postdoctoral training in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Vanderbilt University, where she sought to elucidate the mechanical linkage between breast cancer and diabetes. Dr. Griggs joined Penn State in the summer of 2019 as an Assistant Teaching Professor, Director of the Multicultural Engineering Program and Director of the Clark Scholars Program. In this role, Dr. Griggs drives initiatives to improve the recruitment and retention of underrepresented groups pursuing degrees in engineering and strives to foster a welcoming environment that celebrates culture and inclusion. Her passion lies in mentoring through meaningful career discussions and helping students gain confidence as well as succeed in their chosen degree fields.

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Catherine Cohan Pennsylvania State University

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Assistant Research Professor: My current responsibilities are managing National Science Foundation-funded engineering education projects. The focus is on graduating more underrepresented students and low-income students in Engineering.

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Carmen Vanderhoof Pennsylvania State University

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Assistant Research Professor (Science Education)

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Aaron Mattingly Pennsylvania State University

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Dr. Aaron Mattingly is currently the Assistant Director of the Multicultural Engineering Program at The Pennsylvania State University. He obtained his undergraduate degree at Vriginia Tech and Ph.D. at the University of California, San Francisco. He is passionate about equity and inclusion in STEM and supporting those underrepresented in the field.

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Tonya Peeples Pennsylvania State University

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Tonya L. Peeples is the Penn State College of Engineering Associate Dean for Equity and Inclusion and a Professor of Chemical Engineering. As Associate Dean, she leads college of engineering equity action planning, continuously working to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for students, faculty, and staff. Prior to joining Penn State, Dr. Peeples served as Associate Dean for Diversity and Outreach, Associate Director of the University of Iowa Center for Bioctalysis and Bioprocessing, and Professor of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering at the University of Iowa. She earned her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University and her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from North Carolina State University. The Peeples research group engineers and applies microbial systems and enzymes in chemical reactions. Dr. Peeples has mentored a diverse group of research trainees including high school, undergraduate, and graduate students as well as post-doctoral researchers. She also led several training programs for graduate and undergraduate students across STEM disciplines. Dr. Peeples been an active member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), the American Chemical Society (ACS), the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE). She received the Outstanding Service Award and Pioneers of Diversity Award from AIChE Minority Affairs Committee. She received a Million Women Mentors Trailblazer Award from STEM Connector and is a member of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering College of Fellows. Dean Peeples currently serves as a leader in the NSF INCLUDES Aspire Alliance and an Advisory Board Member for The American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS) Open Forum on Broadening Participation in STEM.

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Abstract

The purpose of this Complete Research paper is to discuss a shift in the programmatic structure of a six-week engineering summer bridge program, designed to support the academic and social integration of incoming first-year students into the Pennsylvania State University community. Along with acclimating students to their chosen engineering or science-based discipline, the program includes structured social and cultural events that encourage students to build relationships with one another and relate in-class activities to out-of-class experiences. A primary goal of the program is to guide participants toward academic success, providing them with a head start in the challenging yet rewarding fields of engineering. Participants, traditionally underrepresented students in engineering, are engaged in math preparation, metacognitive skill development, group study sessions, near-peer mentorship, professional development workshops, and community building activities.

With a shift to an online format over the past two years, various components of the program structure were reimagined to accommodate the online learning environment and to emphasize interconnectivity between all community members, including participants, student leaders and program staff. Upper division student leaders, who completed the program the previous summer, were empowered to take on specific roles within the program and were engaged in development of program goals, activities, and reflections. They were provided autonomy over several key program components including academic preparation, community building, metacognition facilitation and robotics challenge implementation. The student leaders’ intentional engagement within various facets of the program led to an emphasis on and strengthening of interpersonal connections.

This work discusses program development, including goal setting, schedule development, community building, reflection generation and assessment. Results from qualitative and quantitative assessments around perceived mattering and sense of belonging will be discussed in the context of program component implementation. Challenges associated with engagement in an online learning environment and those associated with program structure will also be discussed in detail.

Griggs, L., & Cohan, C., & Vanderhoof, C., & Mattingly, A., & Peeples, T. (2022, August), Reimagining Summer Bridge: An Evolution in Best Practices to Support Incoming First-Year Engineering Students Paper presented at 2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Minneapolis, MN. https://peer.asee.org/41608

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