Date of Award


Document Type




First Advisor

Francisco X. Gayton, Ph.D.


In the United States, a significant barrier that many students face as they enter college is a lack of preparation for credit-level classes, particularly in mathematics. There is widespread concern across the country about how to better support the large number of students enrolling in developmental mathematics courses. One approach some universities have implemented to address this challenge is to offer incoming freshmen the opportunity to participate in summer bridge programs to provide them with the support needed to successfully complete developmental coursework. This study investigates the mathematics and academic success of first-year students attending Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU), a four-year, Hispanic serving institution, in 2014 within and across the following four groups: 1) EMERGE Summer Program students, 2) Summer Transition Program students, 3) traditional math development class students and 4) college ready math students (non-participants of either summer program). This study analyzes student performance variables such as students’ first-year overall GPA, firstyear math GPA, overall credit hour completion, math class success rate and retention rate. This study explores various demographic characteristics in relation to performance variables. In addition, the study examines the predictors of retention and assesses whether NEIU serves its diverse student population effectively. Data analysis involves using SPSS statistical software to run statistical tests such as layered Chi-square tests, two factor Anova tests and a binary logistic regression. The two summer program models described in this paper and the related findings can help inform policymakers, university administrators, faculty, instructors, and advisors about how to better support the academic success of incoming first-year students who place into developmental education.