Date of Award




First Advisor

Jennifer Lovelace

Second Advisor

Parul Acharya,

Third Advisor

Adam McGhee


Research suggests that summer bridge programs are a successful strategy for helping at-risk students succeed in college by offering additional tutoring, mentoring, and advising (Slade et al., 2015). Bridge programs are effective for increasing student success (Bir & Myrick, 2015). However, summer bridge programs may challenge at-risk first-generation students due to limited access and additional fees (Mullen, 2010). The additional costs associated with summer programs combined with the summertime commitment needed for summer bridge programs may present a barrier to enrollment and prove difficult for at-risk students to overcome. Grizzly Success is a program that provides additional academic support, social opportunities, and student mentoring to academically at-risk freshmen college students. This quantitative study measured the effectiveness of the Grizzly Success at Georgia Gwinnett College. A quasi-experimental research design with a control group and no pretest was the most accurate method to measure the control group against the treatment group. First to second-semester retention rates, first-semester GPA, and first-semester credits earned were measured for students who did not participate in Grizzly Success (control group) against those with similar academic backgrounds who participated in Grizzly Success (treatment group). Analysis included using independent t-tests and binary logistical regression with a sample size of 852. Results of independent t-tests indicated that those students that participated in the Grizzly Success Program (2020–2021) had a lower mean GPA and credits earned compared to those that did not participate (2018-2019). Regarding persistence rates, an increase in first-term GPA and credits earned corresponded to the likelihood of persistence in both the control group and those enrolled in the Grizzly Success Program. Implications of this study provide insights to college administrators interested in improving retention through a similar fall bridge program

Included in

Education Commons