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Summer Bridge Program: A Jumpstart for Engineering Students

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

FPD VIII: Crossing Bridges and Easing Transitions into the First Year

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1353.1 - 22.1353.17



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Paper Authors


Danny King Indiana University Purdue University, Indianapolis

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Danny is the Associate Director of the New Student Academic Advising Center within the School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI. In addition to his advising duties, Danny teaches in the First Year Experience Seminars for Engineering students, and has taught the Summer Bridge Program's Engineering section for three years. Danny has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University, an M.S. in Higher Education and Student Affairs from Indiana University, and is currently a doctoral student in Higher Education and Student Affairs at Indiana University.

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Laura Masterson Indiana University Purdue University, Indianapolis

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“Summer Bridge Program: A Jumpstart for Engineering Students”The mission of the Summer Bridge (SB) Program is to support entering students in making asuccessful transition into the life and community of the university. The intensive two week SBprogram, developed as an additional support for incoming, first year students, provides a high-impact, high-touch experience to bridge the academic gap between high school and college.Since the inception of the program, students participating in Bridge have been retained andgraduate at a higher rate than students who do not participate in the program. Although theprogram is marketed to first generation, low income, and underrepresented students, campuswide participant GPAs continue to be statistically higher and DFW rates remain statisticallylower than the general student population.This session will explore the success of the SB program as well as share information about theunique teaching methodology and innovative practices used during the program to specificallyretain engineering students. It will present quantitative and qualitative data that demonstrate thevarious reasons for success of the program and show evidence of the program as a best practicefor first year engineering programs. Survey data of recent SB participants who are engineeringmajors will show the impact of specific Bridge activities on the students’ academic lives bothduring the freshman year and beyond. GPA data and engineering retention rates will beexamined comparing SB participants to engineering majors in general. The two presenters of thissession are part of the instructional team for the engineering section of the SB program and willprovide insight into some aspects of the program that have worked well and others that havefallen short of expectations. Finally, the team will share issues to be considered for otherinstitutions interested in creating or enhancing a program like the SB program.

King, D., & Masterson, L. (2011, June), Summer Bridge Program: A Jumpstart for Engineering Students Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18701

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