Chemistry Summer Bridge

Cornell University wasn’t satisfied with general chemistry (non-science) success rates – they used an intensive summer bridge program (72 hours of instruction in 7 weeks) to mirror the exact same content, delivery, and assessment question types as students would experience in the fall high-stakes course with significant success. Data on success in subsequent coursework is being collected.

They used to think of the preparation of under-prepared students as getting them ready for a race – getting them up to the starting line – and did lots of prep work during the summer – but it wasn’t making much of a difference… so they changed their metaphor to one in which students would have experience of actually running the race already.

In this scenario, they actually conducted the chem course over the summer using lecture, study groups, problem-solving sessions with TAs and instructors, daily homework problems (that could be completed during problem-solving sessions), regular office hours, and side-by-side algebra strengthening sessions.

Another resource is PSU Berks John Shank’s work with  Chemistry Course Guides -

Return to the Gateway Conference posting
Go to details of other strategies:

  • Econ course re-design makes big dent in DFWI rates; data collection tells the tale – UMBC
  • Dev Math sequence re-design: blended course/My Math Lab computer sessions = huge success! Univ. of Southern Florida
  • Intensive chemistry prep thru summer bridge – Cornell
  • Pairing ENGL 4 concurrently with ENGL 15 – same instructor – counter-intuitive?… but successful! Accelerated Learning Program (ALP) – CCBC
  • Physiology  re-design – content heavy courses – 42% DFWI rates drop to 11% in three semesters Cal. State Northridge
  • Interventions that matter in the first week!Intro to Psych – analytics drive change and success – key?  – IUPUI

One Response to Chemistry Summer Bridge

  1. Pingback: John Gardner Institute: Excellence in Gateway Courses Conference April 13-16 Indianapolis, IN | Suzanne C. Shaffer

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