Building on JSU’s historic mission of empowering diverse students to become leaders, Strengthening the Undergraduate Experience through the Bridge to the Future was developed to strengthen and prepare students who are admitted and matriculate in the STEM fields at the University during the summer and academic year. This will be achieved through the implementation of the Bridge to the Future Program (formerly the Summer Bridge Program) and will provide student/living learning resources which includes tutoring, technology assisted teaching and learning, active learning experiences, and inquiry based teaching and learning within the discipline.
Strengthening the Undergraduate Experience through the Bridge to the Future will prepare students for careers in the sciences, mathematics, engineering and other fields where African Americans are underrepresented. This activity comports with Jackson State University’s comprehensive plan and mission to prepare students who are technologically advanced, diverse, ethical and global leaders who think critically, address societal problems and compete effectively while enhancing academic, retention and graduation rates.
The goal of the Bridge to the Future is to increase the number of graduates in STEM disciplines and decrease the time to degree completion for program participants. The program is organized by a fall and spring active Living Learning Community. The Learning Community connects the undergraduate curriculum to co-curricular active learning experiences through the maker space in the H.T. Sampson Library referred to as Engage. It additionally connects undergraduate student research, mentorships and career preparation. The Learning Community combines the theoretical knowledge of the classroom with real world development of technology structured student research and mentorship.
Funds were obtained through Institutional Aid Title III program to identify 130 students to participate in a 10 week summer bridge program each year for five years. Students are selected from the Colleges of Science, Engineering and Technology. In addition to academic bridging course work in college algebra, chemistry, trigonometry and biology, students will participate in cultural enrichment and academic support activities during the first and second summer sessions. Students will participate in a structured computer-assisted tutorial monitored by an assistant laboratory coordinator, instructors, and graduate student assistants.