Summer Bridge

College: Rio Hondo College
Contact Name: Robert Holcomb, Ph.D.
Phone Number: (562) 463-3123

What issue or concern is the intervention designed to address?
It was designed to address the issue of entering students not knowing and taking advantage of campus resources.

What were the desired outcomes you expected from this intervention?
The desired outcome was to increase entering students’ familiarity with and knowledge of the campus community and its resources.

What data was collected to identify the issue or concern on your campus?
We looked at student assessment/placement patterns, course completion rates, and student contact numbers in counseling.

Summarize the research used to determine that this intervention should have been piloted:
Describe the Intervention:

The 2010 Summer Bridge Program was developed through the Office of Student Success and Retention as part of the Basic Skills Initiative; it’s a new program. The purpose is to provide entering, full-time, students with the knowledge, skills, and preparation needed to thrive academically, at RHC and beyond.

This free program ran from 8:00 am-3:15 pm, Monday through Friday, and offered two sessions: July 19-23, and July 26-30.

Specifically, the 2010 Summer Bridge Program entails:

· Team Building Activities

· Peer Mentoring

· Resource Tours

· Math Review

· English Review

· Educational Planning

· RHC Faculty Best Lecture Series

· Online Exploration and Training

· Meals (breakfast and lunch) with peer mentors and key campus personnel

(See Summer Bridge Week-Long Itinerary and a video about the program)

What if any data have you collected to measure the effectiveness of the intervention?
At this point we have only raw data. We’ve logged all 85 students, with student identification numbers, who completed the weeklong program. At the end of this semester, we will submit all the raw data to the IR Department.

We will observe the longitudinal student success, according to various indicators, of all students who complete the summer bridge program in comparison to those who do not.

Summary of findings based on data:
They will be available by early spring 2011.

Next steps:
How will you scale your program up to include a larger population?
We will offer four weeklong sessions in 2011, with a target of 200 students to complete the program.  Within 5 years, we envision growing to 1000 students served each summer, according to the data.

How can this program be sustained if outside funding is no longer available?
There is an opportunity to sustain the Summer Bridge program through a recent Title V grant the college has received, which will provide 3.2 million dollars over 5 years.  All three student success programs that were implemented (piloted) through the Basic Skills Initiative have been written into the grant.  Beyond that, the program has the potential to become institutionalized according to the data and campus-wide support.

What have you learned about the effectiveness of this program?

  • It is difficult to keep the staff at the same energy level over several weeks.
  • Students show up for food but stay for relevancy
  • We need to screen all presentations for quality control.
  • Peer networking and peer mentorship is very important.
  • Outside activities during the summer need to be set for morning hours.
  • Technology should be set far in advance and retested the same day.
  • There needs to be periodic physical movement, involvement, interaction.

What improvements can you think of to strengthen the program?

  • more structured recruitment of students
  • move to a four-day week and Friday prep.
  • more targeted resource tours
  • more physical movement, involvement, activity
  • robust program assessment/evaluation
  • continue to expand accordingly