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ERIC Number: ED539188
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jul
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 6
Bridging the Gap: An Impact Study of Eight Developmental Summer Bridge Programs in Texas. NCPR Brief
Barnett, Elisabeth A.; Bork, Rachel Hare; Mayer, Alexander K.; Pretlow, Joshua; Wathington, Heather D.; Weiss, Madeline Joy
National Center for Postsecondary Research
Across the country, a growing number of recent high school graduates are participating in summer bridge programs. These programs provide accelerated and focused learning opportunities in order to help students acquire the knowledge and skills needed for college success. The state of Texas has given particular attention to summer programs as a way to increase students' college readiness. During the past several years, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) has provided support to colleges establishing developmental summer bridge programs offering intensive remedial instruction in math, reading, and/or writing, along with an introduction to college. In contrast with traditional developmental education course sequences, which may span several semesters, the summer bridge programs were designed to help underprepared students build competencies over the course of several weeks before entering college. While THECB funding for summer bridge programs has diminished, this type of program model remains popular in Texas and across the country. Nevertheless, little rigorous empirical research has been conducted on the effectiveness of summer bridge programs. To address this gap in the research, in 2009 the National Center for Postsecondary Research (NCPR) launched an evaluation of summer bridge programs at eight sites in Texas to assess whether they reduce the need for developmental coursework upon fall matriculation and improve student outcomes in college. The evaluation employed an experimental design to measure the effects of the programs on college enrollment and success. This Brief presents the impact findings of the study, revealing whether the opportunity to participate in a summer bridge program influenced academic outcomes during the two years following participation. The primary outcomes tracked in this study were persistence, accumulation of credits, and progression through the developmental sequence and into students' first college-level math, reading, and writing courses. [This report was written with Evan Weissman, Jedediah Teres, and Matthew Zeidenberg. This Brief is based on a National Center for Postsecondary Research (NCPR) report titled "Bridging the Gap: An Impact Study of Eight Developmental Summer Bridge Programs in Texas." To access this report, see ED533824.]
National Center for Postsecondary Research. Teachers College, Columbia University, Box 174, 525 West 120th Street, New York, NY 10027. Tel: 212-678-3091; Fax: 212-678-3699; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Institute of Education Sciences (ED)
Authoring Institution: National Center for Postsecondary Research (ED)
Identifiers - Location: Texas
What Works Clearinghouse Reviewed: Meets Evidence Standards without Reservations