Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Katie Easley

Second Advisor

David Rudge

Third Advisor

Heather Petcovic


Students are entering higher education at an escalated rate, but many are unprepared for the rigorous coursework that lies ahead of them. As nationwide programs are continuously being implemented throughout high schools to better prepare students for college life, many students are still not equipped with the skills necessary to succeed in obtaining a bachelor’s degree. Many students feel discouraged and inadequate when they perform below their academic expectations, and for a large portion of students pursuing higher education, this results in discontinuing their education. While retention rates amongst STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) students are particularly low, the nation is in dire need of students pursuing careers in these fields in order to maintain our globally significant scientific contributions. In order to retain students in higher education, they need to be better prepared from the start. One solution to this problem could be the implementation of a summer bridge program that provides students with the necessary skills needed to succeed during their time at a university.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access