Academic Bridge Program

Southern Methodist University (TX)

The Academic Bridge Program, a new initiative at Southern Methodist University, will target multiple groups within our first-year student population including first-generation, minority students, and those whose academic profile and personal backgrounds may impact their university experience, their retention, and their graduation from SMU.  Students are identified and invited to participate in this program.

Focusing on student success, the program has three philosophical pillars: (1) failure is not an option; (2) mediocrity is not acceptable; and (3) put forth the effort to earn a minimum 3.00 GPA each term. The program will incorporate mentoring, targeted tutoring, targeted advising, collaborative learning opportunities and individual counseling as its key components.

One of the unique approaches the Bridge Program will take toward achieving student success will be the implementation of an early warning academic system. Under the EWAS, Bridge staff will communicate with faculty every three weeks, electronically requesting feedback on Bridge participants in their respective classes. This targeted process will provide staff with the opportunity for early intervention with identified students.

This is a new initiative for the 2010-11 academic year at SMU; thus, we do not have benchmark or comparison measurements. Still, the program has adopted the following goals and measurements: (1) a 100% retention rate for program participants; (2) an 85% rate of students earning a minimum 3.00 GPA; and (3) a less than 5% rate of students on academic probation.

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