HSS-E 110: IU Kokomo Summer Bridge Program

The Summer Bridge Program is a one-week orientation course designed to help students successfully transition from high school or the workforce to the challenging environment of the 21st-century university. Working closely with their instructors and other students in their cohort, incoming freshmen (and some new transfer students) spend a week on campus learning about academic expectations in college, getting acquainted with the IU Kokomo campus, and developing the “habits of mind” that college coursework demands. The summer of 2017 will mark my third year of teaching in the Bridge Program, and I was gratified to be able to build upon what I learned in my first two years in this program. Together with my co-teacher, Michelle Westervelt, we design modules and activities for students that include campus tours, mock debates, active reading exercises, freewrites, digital projects/podcasts, reflection activities and writing projects, and a trip to the Eiteljorg Museum and the Indiana State Museum in Indianapolis. The guiding pedagogical philosophy behind the Bridge Program has always been that in order to teach incoming students, you must first help students feel comfortable and welcome. All of our activities are designed with this in mind as our first learning outcome, and we revise the course readings, topics, and projects each time we teach it.

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will learn about college-level academic expectations and the “habits of mind” college courses demand;
  • Students will develop networks and friendships that will help them make a successful transition to life at IU Kokomo;
  • Students will develop awareness of campus procedures and policies, as well as where and how to find assistance with common questions and issues;
  • Students will gain awareness of campus activities, clubs, organizations, and many other extracurricular and internship opportunities;
  • Students will apply critical thinking skills to academic exercises and activities and will begin to get a “feel” for college-level work;
  • Students will gain awareness of a variety of classroom formats (hybrid, lecture, “flipped,” etc.);
  • Students will discuss career and degree options with faculty and staff members.

Course Evaluation Summaries

Evaluations in 2015 were qualitative only—these comments can be found below. 2016 evaluations were both qualitative and quantitative, but the qualitative feedback from students has unfortunately been lost. At the time of this writing, we are preparing for the 2017 section of Summer Bridge, which will commence in early August of 2017. (Click here for the Summer 2017 course syllabus.)

Summer 2015

  • I came in to the program as a nervous IUK freshman, and went out of the program as a confident IUK freshman. The Bridge program taught me a lot about IUK.
  • I think this program really helped introduce students to college.
  • I know where my classes are and I know people I can go to for help when I need it.
  • I am more comfortable and confident about starting school.
  • The instructors who lead it, they were insanely helpful. Any question you have they’d answer it.
  • I really liked this program because it helped me learn so much more before the school year started.
  • It helped me gain awareness of the campus.
  • Learning about the important things in life.
  • It helped me learn about the campus and feel more comfortable being here as well as meet new friends.
  • Meeting people on campus/staff and a few students.
  • Touring campus and learning tips about campus.
  • Very resourceful and the food.
  • Meeting classmates and professors before classes started.
  • You get to meet a lot of professors and faculty who really care about helping you succeed.
  • Meeting new people.
  • Knowing which building has what.
  • Learning one.iu.edu and Canvas.
  • Touring the building.
  • Guest speakers.
  • Meeting new people.
  • We took tours to know where everything is at and they had great lunches and guest speakers.
  • Learning how college is and the classroom setting.
  • Helpful in financial aid, campus activities.
  • The information about various topics, learning more about what college is like, being with professors.
  • How the instructors got everybody to participate.
  • How the students participated.
  • How the instructors gave knowledge of classrooms and campus life
  • Learning how different it is from high school, how to manage stress, mostly how college works.
  • Learning all of the little details and questions I had before.
  • Many of my questions were answered, the lunches were great, and now I won’t have anxiety the first day of class.
  • This program also showed me where I can go for help with everything.
  • The professors gave us a lot of needed information.
  • They also gave us information that nobody usually shares about what college is really like.
  • They help us feel comfortable at the campus.
  • The tours.
  • Financial aid talking to us.
  • The speakers.

Summer 2016

HSS-E 110: Summer Bridge Program Summer 2016
1.)   The course was well organized. 1.79
2.)   The course objectives were clear to the students. 1.74
3.)   There was general agreement between announced course objectives and what was actually taught. 1.89
4.)   The instructor explained the subject clearly. 1.74
5.)   The instructor summarized the major points in lecture or discussion. 1.63
6.)   The instructor made effective use of class time. 1.79
7.)     The instructor was well prepared for class meetings. 1.53
8.)     The amount of reading was appropriate for the course. 1.84
9.)     In relation to other courses of equal credits and level, the workload in this course was appropriate. 2.00
10.)  The amount of material covered in the course was reasonable. 1.95
11.)  The course required more time and effort than others at this level. 2.53
12.)  The grading system for the course was clearly explained. 1.89
13.)  Grades were assigned fairly and impartially. 1.95
14.)  The instructor collected enough evidence for valid grading. 1.89
15.)  The exams accurately assessed what I have learned in this class. 2.21
16.)  The instructor showed a genuine interest in students 1.58
17.)  The instructor was readily available for consultation with students. 1.53
18.)  The instructor stimulated my thinking. 1.53
19.)  The instructor stimulated class discussion. 1.53
20.)  The instructor promoted an atmosphere conducive to learning. 1.47
21.)  Compared to other instructors I have had, this instructor is outstanding. 2.16
22.)  Compared to other courses I’ve taken, I learned more in this course. 2.05

Click here for the most recent Course Syllabus (Summer 2017).

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