Analyzing the design and evaluation of summer bridge programs at three community colleges within the Minnesota state system
Bissonette, Matthew D.
University of Wisconsin-Stout
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This multi-case study was intended to understand the design and evaluation of summer bridge programs at three community colleges in the Minnesota State system. Through public information review, structured interviews, and institutional data review this study examined methodology used to design the programs, evaluation approaches used to determine success, and evidence to support the design and evaluation of each program. Three colleges from varying sized communities across the state were chosen for this study. The results suggest that regardless of the size of the college or the geographic location, each contained a focus on academics, social acclimation, and either an identified population segment or underprepared students in general. While clearly defined models exist for both the design and evaluation of programs, these colleges use a mix of best practices and intuitive logic to determine the design and evaluation of their programs. The outcomes-based evidence provided by the programs revealed the use of a team guided holistic program review approach more akin to continuous improvement methodologies than evaluation. The success of these programs comes from the ongoing commitment of the individuals involved rather than any defined process.
Community college student development programs
College preparation programs
Underprepared community college students