Graduate Program

College Student Affairs

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Catherine L. Polydore


This two phase study sought to investigate the impact that a summer bridge program (SIHL) at a midsized, public institution at had on participants' academic success through an examination of its effect on their self-efficacy. In addition, this study sought to gain an increased understanding of how the program impacted self-efficacy, by providing a new conceptual model for examining the program and similar programs. Lastly, this study expanded on the research conducted by Lucas (2012), by incorporating both quantitative and qualitative methods. Participants in Phase 1, the quantitative phase, were 322 students of varying ages, races and ethnicities, genders, and some who had participated in the program as well as some who had not. Results suggested that the self-efficacy beliefs of program participants were similar to those who did not participate. Phase 2, or the qualitative phase, more closely examined the self-efficacy beliefs of 5 students who participated in the program. Through semi-structured interviews, these students recounted their experiences during their time in SIHL and how it impacted their self-efficacy beliefs. Further, students described retention and persistence behaviors as they were influenced through social and academic engagement.