July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session
Purpose: The purpose of the Sustainable Bridges from Campus to Campus project (NSF IUSE #1525367, known locally as Engineering Ahead) is to establish summer bridge programs that serve Engineering students at regional campuses of The Pennsylvania State University. In 2016, residential summer bridge programs for incoming Engineering students were started at the Abington, Altoona, and Berks campuses. Recruitment focuses on enrolling racially underrepresented domestic students (i.e., African American, Hispanic American, Native American, Pacific Islander) and first-generation students in Engineering into the bridge programs. The project also supports an established summer bridge program for racially underrepresented incoming Engineering students at the flagship University Park campus. In 2020 (Year 5 of the project) because of the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions on in-person gathering, the Engineering Ahead residential bridge programs were converted to online synchronous summer bridge programs. This paper presents data on recruitment, enrollment, retention, lessons learned, and student perceptions of an online summer bridge program.
Goals: The overarching goal of this project is to increase retention and graduation among racially underrepresented Engineering students, with a focus on students who start their Penn State education at a regional campus. Since their inception, the Engineering Ahead summer bridge programs try to increase retention and graduation through three strategies: intensive math review (pre-calculus, calculus), community building, and professional development. Central topics and questions for this paper are how we conducted online bridges, what was offered, student enrollment and retention, what we learned from the process, can social integration among students be achieved virtually, and what were student perceptions of the online bridge experience?
Method: Accepted incoming Engineering students (summer and fall 2020) at the Abington, Altoona, Berks, and University Park campuses were encouraged to apply to an online summer bridge program to support success in math and science during the first year via letter, email, and presentations at accepted student programs. Eighty-six incoming students enrolled in the four online bridge programs for incoming first-year Engineering students.
Results: Data analysis is being conducted currently.
Conclusions: Conclusions are pending following completion of data analysis.
Cohan, C. L., & Griggs, L. A., & Hassler, R. S., & Johnson, M. W., & Kagan, M., & Butler, P. J., & Peeples, T. L. (2021, July), Sustainable Bridges from Campus to Campus: The Creation and Conduct of Online Synchronous Summer Bridge Programs in 2020 Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37793
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