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The Promise of Developmental Summer Bridge Programs

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  1. The Promise of Developmental Summer Bridge Programs Elisabeth Barnett, Thomas Bailey, and the NCPR Team IES Conference June 2010

  2. About the Center The National Center for Postsecondary Research focuses on measuring the effectiveness of programs designed to help students make the transition to college and master the skills needed to advance to a degree. • Primary funding from IES of the U.S. Dept. of Education • Housed at CCRC, Teachers College, Columbia University • Partners • MDRC • Curry School of Education, University of Virginia

  3. Developmental Education • Evidence suggests that the current developmental education system does not work well (Bailey, 2009; Pusser & Levin, 2009) • Most students do not complete their developmental sequences (Calcagno, Crosta, Bailey, & Davis, 2007) • Students placed into developmental education are less likely to complete college (Adelman, 2006)

  4. Placement into developmental education in community colleges From NELS (1988-2000) • 58 percent—at least one course • 44 percent—1 to 3 courses • 14 percent—more than 3 courses From ATD (2003-2006) • 59 percent—at least one course

  5. Summer Bridge Programs • Long history in higher education (Kezar, 2000) • Little research on efficacy. • Design is grounded in literature on acceleration (Wlodkowski & Kasworm, 2003), social know-how (Deil-Amen & Rosenbaum, 2003), college knowledge (Conley, 2005), and contextualization (Perin, 2007).

  6. Eight colleges and universities around Texas Three programs funded in part by THECB grants All contribute some college funds and received NCPR funding Students Most just completed high school All need remediation Developmental Summer Bridge Study

  7. Bridge Programs in the Study • Four to six weeks • Accelerated instruction in developmental math, English, and/or reading • Academic and student services support • “College knowledge” component • Student cohorts • Student stipend for completers

  8. Potential Benefits of Developmental Summer Bridge Programs • Reduced need for developmental education • Exposure to college and academic expectations • Contact with college faculty and administrators • Small cohorts of students • Stipends to reduce need for summer jobs.

  9. The Research Qualitative (data source: interviews, classroom observations, focus groups, surveys) • What do the programs and students look like? • What are the challenges in implementation? • What program design elements show promise? Quantitative (data source: student data from Fall 2009 to Fall 2010) • Do summer bridge programs reduce the need for developmental education and improve other college-related outcomes?

  10. SUMMER 2009 BRIDGES: Students in the Sample

  11. About the Students • 84% Hispanic • 62% Female • Mean age - 19 • 61% qualified for free/reduced lunch • 40% heard about DSB from counselor; 21% from a flyer • Motivations for applying to DSB: attaining college level standing, improving skills, experiencing college

  12. SUMMER 2009 BRIDGES:Contact Hours

  13. SUMMER 2009 BRIDGES: Subjects Studied

  14. Subjects Studied • 3 offered math; 5 offered both OR either math and English. • Some course-based; some not. • Taught by regular faculty. • Curriculum generally based on existing developmental education. • Some classes were “leveled;” others were not. Both approaches were seen as viable.

  15. SUMMER 2009 BRIDGES:College Knowledge

  16. College Knowledge • 3 used abbreviated student success courses • 4 offered presentations • Faculty, mentors, and tutors played a role • Topics included: • College applications and financial aid • Help seeking in college • Managing stress • Understanding college culture

  17. SUMMER 2009 BRIDGES:Student Support

  18. Student Supports • 4 colleges used mentors. • Amount of training varied • Some mentoring was 1-1; some in groups • Mentors were older students • All programs offered tutoring • Lab time had different degrees of structure. • Mentors and tutors were generally impressive, but sometimes stretched thin. • Students received stipends.

  19. Preliminary Implementation Findings • College knowledge- provided formally and informally- is important for connecting and engaging students. • Course-based vs. non-course-based formats provided different experiences. • The accelerated format was important, yet challenging to implement.

  20. Random Assignment Design Targeted students invited to participate in study Students give consent Baseline data collected Random Assignment Program group Enrolled in enhanced programs and services Control group Received regular courses and services

  21. Outcomes of Interest College enrollment rates Need for developmental coursework Credit accumulation Persistence Enrollment status (FT, PT) Financial aid utilization Subgroup analyses will also be done (income status, prior achievement)

  22. Preliminary Impact Findings • A first look at early findings: Program impacts on college enrollment in the fall of 2009, to be presented at the IES conference. • Additional outcomes and longer follow-up will be presented in future reports.

  23. For more information: Please visit us on the web at www.PostsecondaryResearch.org to learn more about our latest research and to sign up for electronic announcements. National Center for Postsecondary Research Teachers College, Columbia University 525 West 120th Street, Box 174, New York, NY 10027 Email: ncpr@columbia.edu Telephone: (212) 678-3091 NCPR is funded by the Institute of Education Sciences of the U.S. Department of Education