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What Happens After a Summer Bridge Program: The DPO Scholars Program

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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

22.1681.1 - 22.1681.10



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Paper Authors


Theodore Demetrius Caldwell Michigan State University, Diversity Programs Office, College of Engineering

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Undergraduate Institution: Michigan State University
Major: Advertising
Degree & Year: B.A., 1996
Graduate Institution: Jones International University
Major: Higher Education Leadership and Administration
Degree & Year: M.Ed., June 2011 (expected)

Director/Assistant to the Dean for Diversity (2008 - present)
Diversity Programs Office, College of Engineering at Michigan State University.

Assistant Director (2007 - 2008),
Diversity Programs Office, College of Engineering at Michigan State University.

Retention and Recruitment Coordinator (2006 - 2007),
Diversity Programs Office, College of Engineering at Michigan State University,

Publications: None.

NSF Grant:
Serving as Program Manager for MSU on National Science Foundation NSF 03-520; Michigan Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (MI-LSAMP); under the direction of Mary Sue Coleman, Ralph Kummler, Levi Thompson, Edmond Tsang and Thomas Wolf. This award is effective September 1, 2005 and expires September 1, 2010. Will continue in the same capacity for Phase 2 of this grant effective September 1, 2010 - September 1, 2015.

Other Affiliations:
National Association of Multicultural Engineering Program Advocates (NAMEPA)
Region C. Chair, February 2010 - present.
2009 Joint Regional Fall Conference Planning Committee Member
2008 National Conference Planning Committee
National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science, Inc. (GEM)
University Representative, 2007 - Present
Advancing Minorities Interest in Engineering (AMIE)
Membership Committee, 2007 - Present
Institutional Service.
Staff Adviser, National Society of Black Engineers, Michigan State University Chapter, 2006 - Present.
Staff Adviser, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, Michigan State University Chapter, 2008 - 2009.
MSU Pre-College Committee, 2006 - 2009.
• MSU IDEA Coordinators, 2007 - Present.

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Kyle P. Foster Diversity Programs Office, College of Engineering, Michigan State University

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Kyle P. Foster, a native of Detroit, Michigan, graduated from Michigan State University in 1997 with a B.S. in mechanical engineering. Upon graduation, he accepted a position in the Chrysler Institute of Engineering (CIE) program at Chrysler Corporation. While in the program, he earned an advanced degree in engineering from the University of Detroit Mercy. After completing two years in the CIE program, Foster spent the next nine years as a product development engineer at Chrysler. He joined the staff of the Diversity Programs Office in February 2009. He hopes to impact the lives of future engineers by passing on all that he has learned.

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Tonisha Brandy Lane Michigan State University


Rickey Alfred Caldwell Jr Michigan State University

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College of Engineering, Diversity Programs Office

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Claudia Elena Vergara Michigan State University


Jon Sticklen Michigan State University

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Jon Sticklen is the Director of the Center for Engineering Education Research at Michigan State University. Dr. Sticklen is also Director of Applied Engineering Sciences, an undergraduate bachelor of science degree program in the MSU College of Engineering. He also is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. Dr. Sticklen has lead a laboratory in knowledge-based systems focused on task specific approaches to problem solving. Over the last decade, Dr. Sticklen has pursued engineering education research focused on early engineering; his current research is supported by NSF/DUE and NSF/CISE.

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Statistically, students who matriculate to an engineering undergraduate program from aneconomically disadvantaged background are less likely to graduate than other students. Giventhe growing need for domestic engineering graduates, it is important to utilize the untappedpotential of students we now lose from engineering. Serving the needs of all segments of thepopulation is also an historic and integral part of the land grant mission of our university.Under long term NSF/LSAMP and corporate foundation funding, we have operated a summerbridge experience for students from economically disadvantaged, inner city areas of ourstate’s largest city. Students largely from the XX inner city area are recruited to take part inan experience that includes academic pre-classes as well as social network building. The bridgeprogram is targeted at students ready to matriculate to a university - and indeed most of thestudents in our bridge experience matriculate to MSU with the intent of pursuing anengineering degree. The capacity of the summer bridge program is 30 students.After completing the summer bridge program, students matriculate to XXX State Universityto pursue an engineering degree. Most will flow directly into a recently established (Fall, 2009)program: the Diversity Programs Office (DPO) Scholars Program (SP). DPO-SP is fundedinternally by XXX State University, corporate foundation grants and NSF funding, and isdesigned to provide a structured, mandatory academic mentoring and social support system forstudents coming from an under-prepared/economically disadvantaged background.The DPO-SP is a yearlong program spanning Year 1 of newly matriculated students. It is largelydesigned as a “good academic habits” building program with strong academic mentoring andsocial support networking to sustain a very strong year of transition into university life. DPO-SP is an essential part of our effort to increase the retention rate for economicallydisadvantaged students. Some of the students in DPO-SP will prove to themselves and tofaculty and staff that they are determined to persist in the quest for an engineering degree.In this report, we describe our experience with the DPO-SP program which now spans one yearplus one semester. We include analysis of data we have gathered in Fall, 2010, includingparticipation in the program (attendance at events and meetings) versus academic performanceas well as attitude survey data.

Caldwell, T. D., & Foster, K. P., & Lane, T. B., & Caldwell, R. A., & Vergara, C. E., & Sticklen, J. (2011, June), What Happens After a Summer Bridge Program: The DPO Scholars Program Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18713

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