Theses and Dissertations



Mohammadi-Aragh, M.

Committee Member

Strawderman, Lesley

Committee Member

Tajik, Nazanin

Committee Member

Winkler, Christa

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

Visible MSU only 1 year

Document Type

Dissertation - Campus Access Only


Engineering Education

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Over the past few decades, there has been a push to retain and increase URM student participation in STEM fields. To address this need, there are STEM Summer Bridge programs that specifically target underrepresented minority (URM) students to assist with the transition from high school to college. Summer bridge programs were established as a response to the effort to help with the transition from high school to college for first-time students. There are a number of these programs that specifically target URM students with the goal of increasing the diversity within professions that are related to the STEM areas of study. One of the challenges of establishing these programs involves identifying factors such as academic goals, psychological goals, and departmental goals that help first-time URM students succeed in STEM undergraduate programs. This research includes three studies that analyzes the impact of summer bridge programs on first-time students The first study analyzes program goals of summer bridge programs in the southeastern region of the United States, where there is a need for more published reports. The second study analyzes an engineering-focused summer bridge program’s impact on first year success. The results indicated that participation in the program had a significant association with Calculus I success and first semester GPA. The third study analyzes engineering degree and grad/professional school attainment for engineering students. It was found that participation has a significant association with engineering degree attainment. Overall, this study gives researchers a foundation for how engineering-focused summer bridge programs can affect academic success for first-time students. This type of intervention gives students the foundation needed to successfully transition from high school to college. This research shows that the impact produced by summer bridge programs have long term implications that include diversifying the engineering workforce.