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An increasing number of first-generation college students enroll in college each year. However, according to national statistics, as many as 900,000 first-generation college students drop out each year. Colleges have developed summer bridge programs to help first-generation students succeed; participants have shown an increase in grade point average (GPA) and retention. There is limited research focusing specifically on private nonprofit university bridge programs, and national statistics show 34% of first-generation college students electing private universities. Thus, the purpose of this quantitative cross-sectional study was to evaluate a private nonprofit university bridge program called the Pfeiffer Readiness Education Program. Using the Seidman retention model as a theoretical framework, this study investigated student satisfaction, retention, GPA, and credits earned versus attempted for first-generation participants in an early intervention program. To determine statistical significance between groups of first-generation participants (n = 39) and first-generation nonparticipants (n = 35), t test is used. The early intervention program demonstrated statistical significance (p < .05) between participants and nonparticipants in student satisfaction, retention from Fall 2016 to Spring 2017, retention from Fall 2016 to Fall 2017, GPA in Fall 2016, GPA from Fall 2016 to Fall 2017, and credits earned versus attempted ratio for Fall 2016 to Fall 2017. This study may provide staff of similar institutions with understanding of the importance of early intervention programs for first-generation college students. Programs to retain and graduate first-generation college students could promote positive social change.
Palmer, Chip, "Bridge Program Participants' Satisfaction, Retention, Grade Point Average, and Credits Earned" (2017). Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies. 5514.