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Bridging the Gap: An Impact Study of Eight Developmental Summer Bridge Programs in Texas (NCPR Report)

By: Elisabeth A. Barnett, Rachel Hare Bork, Alexander K. Mayer, Joshua Pretlow, Heather Wathington & Madeline Joy Trimble

Abstract

Developmental summer bridge programs provide accelerated and focused learning opportunities in order to help recent high school graduates acquire the knowledge and skills needed for college success. This NCPR report presents findings from an experimental study of eight developmental summer bridge programs offered in Texas during the summer of 2009.

The programs had a positive impact on introductory college-level course completion in math and writing in the year and a half following the program, but these effects were not statistically significant at the end of two years. There is no evidence that the programs impacted persistence or the average number of credits students attempted or earned.