Students across the United States lack the necessary skills to be successful college students in Science, Technology and Math (STEM) majors and as a result post-secondary institutions are developing summer bridge programs to aid in their transition. As they develop these programs, effective theory and approach are critical to developing successful programs. Though there are a multitude of theories on successful student development, a focus on self-efficacy is critical. Summer Bridge programs across the country as well as the Bio Bridge summer program at Arizona State University were studied alone and through the lens of Cognitive Self-Efficacy Theory as mentioned in Albert Bandura's "Perceived Self-Efficacy in Cognitive Development and Functioning." Cognitive Self-Efficacy Theory provides a framework for self-efficacy development in academic settings. An analysis of fifteen bridge programs found that a large majority focused on developing academic capabilities and often overlooked development of community and social efficacy. An even larger number failed to focus on personal psychology in managing self-debilitating thought patterns based on published goals. Further, Arizona State University's Bio Bridge program could not be considered successful at developing cognitive self-efficacy or increasing retention as data was inconclusive. However, Bio Bridge was tremendously successful at developing social efficacy and community among participants and faculty. Further research and better evaluative techniques need to be developed to understand the program's effectiveness in cognitive self-efficacy development and retention.
- Bridge Program Literature Review and Cognitive Self-Efficacy Theory Analysis of the Arizona State University's Summer BioBridge Program
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