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ERIC Number: ED517925
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
The Impact of Developmental Summer Bridge Programs on Students' Success
Wathington, Heather; Pretlow, Joshua; Mitchell, Claire
Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness
Many community colleges have implemented innovative programs to provide an alternative to traditional developmental education by helping students to build competencies and persist in college. Developmental Summer Bridge Programs (DSBP) have become increasingly popular interventions to strengthen student preparation, reduce the need for developmental education, and orient students to college. DSBPs have the potential to help students enter college without the need for remediation, especially when they are close to being college-ready (Zuniga & Stoever, 2008). They offer accelerated, focused learning opportunities that can allow students to acquire sufficient knowledge to place into college level courses. Further, they may smooth the transition into college by helping students learn how to navigate college systems and gain comfort with college faculty, staff, and students (Ackermann, 1990). The goal of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of summer bridge programs in helping developmental students to complete remedial courses before the fall semester and improve the success and persistence rates of developmental students in other remedial and credit bearing classes. Specifically, this study addresses the following research questions: (1) How are DSBPs designed and implemented?; (2) What are the early effects of DSBPs on student outcomes? Specifically, compared to a randomized control group, what are the program effects on: (a) College enrollment?; (b) Overall credits attempted and completed?; and (c) College persistence? Preliminary impact findings indicate that (1) there is no difference in the fall enrollment between program and control group members with 76.73% and 75.87%, respectively, enrolling in a postsecondary institution for the fall 2009 semester; (2) there is no significant difference in the total number of credits attempted between the program and control group students, 9.0 and 8.9 credits respectively; (3) however, there is a significant difference in the types of credit attempted. Program students, on average, attempted 6.1 college level credits and control group students attempted 5.4 college level credits. Program group students attempted 2.9 remedial level credits and control group students attempted 3.5 remedial level credits. Both of these findings are significant at the 0.05 level. Selected Programmatic Characteristics are appended. (Contains 2 tables.)
Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness. 2040 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208. Tel: 202-495-0920; Fax: 202-640-4401; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness (SREE)