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Summer bridge program helped improve test scores

Somerset Community College offered a four week summer bridge program, called the Emerging Scholars Program to twelve incoming freshmen students from Pulaski County. They were identified by referrals in cooperation with the IMPACT program, an affiliate of Adult Basic Ed, and the TRIO program, a support services program for students, directed by Dorothy Phillips.

The first annual bridge program was created by Marci Randall, SCC Transitional Education instructor, which was designed to address the needs of students who wanted to make large gains in reading comprehension in a short time frame. The program incorporated many learning styles, using technology to increase gains in order to transform student learning and increase confidence in this short, four week period.

Along with computers, the students used MP3 players for audio books, pairing audio books and the paperback titles, to enhance both auditory and visual learning to increase comprehension. These materials, along with flash drives, were purchased with grant money that was awarded for the Emerging Scholars Program. Using the flash drives, students became authors of their own digital stories, as well as readers of many genres, which they learned to summarize.

The project was researched by Randall and she based this pilot on a study of how adult learners can make gains in comprehension in short time frames. The audio book idea was based on the work of Dee Tadlocks Read Right book and theory.

Randall said, The students used this opportunity to read with some one-on-one tutoring help, new reading strategies in place, and with renewed interest in reading. Many of todays students are digital natives, having grown up with technology at their fingertips. I like to keep current on the latest classroom techniques, so this was a great chance to incorporate technology into traditional reading comprehension strategies.

Eleven of the original twelve students completed the programs and greatly improved their test scores. Ten of the eleven increased their COMPASS scores, some doubling their original scores.

Student Jacob Johnson commented on the program, I liked the program because it helped me get ready for what I will be going through in college. It also taught me a lot with how to study and how to make time to study. Thank you Ms Dorothy and Ms Marci.

Danielle Keith, another student that participated in the program said, The summer bridge class really helped me see the other side about truly reading something, other than just reading something to get it over with. The class showed me how to break it down and understand it better.

Randall added, I truly appreciate the grant and the chance to pilot a summer program. Im pleased to report the excellent progress these students made at the end of the reading program. Thank you, Dr. Marshall and Dr. Honeycutt, for supporting our efforts to provide this service to our students. I also want to thank the Associate Dean of the Transitional Division, Kim Cleberg, who is always supportive of teaching innovations that benefit student learning. Last but not least, I owe a huge thank you to Dorothy Phillips, who mentored and taught the Summer Bridge ESPs with me. I look forward to working on projects such as this in the future.

Somerset Community College is a comprehensive two-year institution of higher education. SCC has campuses in Somerset and London, and centers in Clinton, McCreary, Casey, and Russell Counties. For admission and program information call toll-free 877-629-9722 or visit the website somerset.kctcs.edu.