|Summer Bridge Programs (SBP) have demonstrated success for underrepresented students in STEM fields. However, a review of published reports of these programs suggests mixed and some negative results with very few programs having been subjected to rigorous evaluations (Kallison & Stader, 2012; Sablan, 2014; Strayhorn, 2011). Utilizing a quantitative methodology, this study examined the relationship between participation in a SBP for students of color and persistence and academic performance. Controlling for background variables, findings reveal that SBPs promote student outcomes for student success and persistence and reduces student attrition in STEM related majors at a large predominately White land grant university in the Southeastern United States.
Analysis included utilizing logistic regression and multiple regression with a sample size of 500. This study found that the SBP participants (n=140) persisted differently from their freshman to sophomore year of college than non-program participants with similar student background characteristics. Students who participated in the SBP had higher grade point averages and retention rates than non-participants. Implications of this study provide insights for faculty, staff, administrators and program developers of SBPs to explore student retention and its solutions.