The development and implementation of an Academic Bridge Program for first year students majoring in science and technology was designed to address the retention of
students who elect to major in these disciplines. Traditionally, it is known that the greatest decline in majors occurs between the freshman and sophomore year. This
program addressed some of the academic barriers that students encounter during their first year. More specifically, this program targeted entry level biology, chemistry and mathematics courses. Faculty who taught the targeted first year courses were responsible for implementing a Saturday program of study that provided additional support to students enrolled in entry level classes. It was important to emphasize the applications of the subject to real life situations. Mid-term grades were used as an early warning sign. Students, who scored less than a "C" on any exam, were required to retake the exam after completing an intensive review. The freshmen's end of year grades were significantly correlated with the semester mid-term grades. This suggested that the early intervention in the targeted courses made a difference in the students' academic performance. On the average, 75 percent of the students who participated in the Fall Bridge Program passed the entry level courses. In contrast, the passing rate for non-participants was 20 percent. In summary, the Fall Bridge Program served as an early intervention tool that increased the number of students going into the sophomore year.
|Keywords:||Retention, Early Intervention, Fall Bridge, Entry Level Courses, Minority|
Assistant Provost for Research and Sponsored Programs, Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, Department of Biological and Physical Sciences, Saint Augustine's College, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
Assistant Professor of Biology, Department Head, Department of Biological & Physical Science, Saint Augustine's College, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
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