Purpose and Goals: The purpose of the Sustainable Bridges from Campus to Campus study (NSF IUSE #1525367) is to increase the retention of racially underrepresented students (i.e., African American, Native American, and Hispanic students) in undergraduate Engineering majors. We strive to address the urgent need to expand and diversify the pool of undergraduates who earn a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) degree. To achieve this goal, the Sustainable Bridges project consists of a comprehensive series of interventions at three points in students' career at the Pennsylvania State University (Penn State)-entering first-year students (Engineering Ahead), rising second-year students (Jump Start), and a transition program for rising juniors changing from a Penn State regional campus to the Penn State University Park flagship campus. As of this writing, we are beginning Year 4 of the 5-year project. Previous papers described outcomes for the Engineering Ahead first-year bridge program. This paper is an interim report that describes outcomes for two cohorts of students who participated in the Jump Start second-year summer bridge intervention. Method: The Jump Start summer bridge is a 4-week residential program on the Penn State University Park (flagship) campus for rising second-year Engineering students throughout the Penn State system to prepare them for Calculus II, Differential Equations, Physics I or Physics II. Cohort building is also a significant focus. Enrollment priority is given to racially underrepresented students, those who participated in the Engineering Ahead first-year bridge program, and those from a Penn State regional campus. To assess the effectiveness of Jump Start for the first two cohorts (N = 93), we will compare participants to a sample of students who did not participate in Jump Start who were matched on sex, race/ethnicity, major, campus assignment, and SAT Math scores, for a total sample of 186 students. We compare the two groups on fall-semester math and physics course grades, fall semester grade point average, and enrollment status. We also examine the entrance-to-major status for Cohort 1 for retention in Engineering, retention in STEM, and retention at Penn State. Results and Conclusions: The preliminary results are promising for the rising second-year bridge program, particularly for Cohort 1. Compared to a matched comparison sample, Cohort 1 Jump Start students had higher grades in their math courses and were more likely to earn a grade of C or higher in the fall semester of their sophomore year following the summer bridge program. Cohort 1 Jump Start students were followed into the fall of their junior year. They were significantly more likely than the comparison students to be retained at Penn State. In 2019, we will continue to follow Cohorts 1 and 2 and enroll Cohort 3.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jun 15 2019
Event126th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Charged Up for the Next 125 Years, ASEE 2019 - Tampa, United States
Duration: Jun 15 2019Jun 19 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)


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