• Skill, Will, and Self-Regulation: Assessing the Learning and Study Strategies of University Summer Bridge Program Students

      DuCette, Joseph P.; Farley, Frank; Stahler, Gerald; Schifter, Catherine; Lombardi, Doug, 1965- (Temple University. Libraries, 2014)
      Colleges and universities face a critical challenge in addressing the educational needs of their academically underprepared students. With college dropout rates increasingly rising, post-secondary institutions must ensure that these students have both the knowledge and the skills necessary to succeed in higher education and beyond. The aim of this study was to investigate the learning and study strategies and skills of students participating in a university summer bridge program (SBP), which is a 6-week, high-school-to-college transition program for academically underprepared, at-risk, first-year students (as defined by the university). The relationships between SBP students' learning and study strategies and two measures of college achievement (first-year GPA and first-to-second-year persistence) were investigated using a two-phase, mixed-methods explanatory design. In Phase 1 of the study, the Learning and Study Strategies Inventory (LASSI) profiles of SBP students (N = 266) were examined. The LASSI, an 80-item, self-report questionnaire, is used to assess students' knowledge and use of various cognitive, motivational, and self-regulatory strategies that contribute to strategic learning. In Phase 2 of the study, semi-structured interviews were conducted to follow-up with purposefully selected SBP students (n = 4) during their sophomore year at the university. Results of the study found that selecting main ideas and test strategies (LASSI) scales were significant predictors of first-year college GPA. Motivation, as assessed by the LASSI, was a significant predictor of first-to-second-year college persistence. Interviews conducted in Phase 2 of the study expand on these findings. Implications for educational policy and practice are highlighted.