The impetus for the Sustainable Bridges from Campus to Campus study is to address the urgent need to expand the pool of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) graduates, especially African American, Native American, and Hispanic students. Long-term improvements in the pipeline of a diverse STEM workforce start with sustaining effective bridge programs that can produce more Engineering baccalaureates. To improve retention in Engineering, this study will conduct academic enrichment programs for racially underrepresented Engineering students at three points in their career at the Penn State-entering freshmen, rising sophomores, and rising juniors. The goals of the study are to (a) increase retention in Engineering among racially underrepresented students in the Penn State system, (b) develop long-term sustainability plans for these enrichment programs, and (c) compare retention rates in Engineering depending on whether students attended a summer academic enhancement program at their local campus or at a different campus and whether they transfer between campuses within the University system. The guiding framework for the summer bridge programs is the Minority Engineering Program (MEP) Model. The study started in January 2016. During summer 2016, we conducted 5 summer bridge programs with the first cohort of freshmen across 4 campuses in the Penn State system. The students in Cohort 1 are currently in the fall semester of their freshmen year. At this early point in the study, our paper can present an overview of the project as well as reporting preliminary data on Cohort 1 after their first semester (Fall 2016). Academic performance data after the first semester include grade point average, math course grades, academic social support, and whether they are retained at the University.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jun 24 2017
Event124th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Columbus, United States
Duration: Jun 25 2017Jun 28 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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