An Evaluation of the University of California, Santa Barbara's Freshman Summer Start Program: Impact on Students and Campus

Loy Lytle, Ralph Gallucci


This is an evaluation of the impact of a 13-year-old summer bridge program—the University of California, Santa Barbara’s (UCSB) Freshman Summer Start Program (FSSP)—on its students and the home campus. In continuous operation since summer 2002, FSSP was designed to help incoming, first-time students make smooth academic and social transitions to the campus. Its core set of academic experiences includes credit-bearing courses and other academic, social, recreational, and personal enrichment experiences to engage students as they achieve their academic objectives in a timely fashion. The paper summarizes various outcome measures used to assess FSSP’s student and campus impact and recommends how lessons learned from our experiences with FSSP might help other summer sessions administrators and/or faculty colleagues design and implement a summer bridge program tailored to benefit and engage students within the context of the home institution’s mission and goals.

Full Text: