Return to Program Profiles Rosemont College

Rosemont College has seen its number of first-generation college students increase from approximately one-third to more than half of the undergraduate population over the past decade. Building on the week-long Success and Motivation summer bridge program for students admitted conditionally to the college because of low academic performance in high school, the CIC/Walmart College Success Award allowed Rosemont to expand its program to include more first-generation students.
Beyond the summer bridge, during the academic year, these students were enrolled in a First-Year Connections Seminar. The instructor also served as the program coordinator and advisor to the students. Bi-weekly study sessions, support sessions, and academic workshops were held throughout the year. In addition, a special four-day session took place over spring break when students participated in a series of reading, writing, and college readiness sessions for which they received one academic credit. The Success and Motivation program also included opportunities for the families of first-generation students during the summer bridge program, the fall break, and in early January to meet with senior staff members at the college and learn about the demands of academic life and the familial transition of sending a student to college. Finally, Rosemont drew upon its large number of successful first-generation alumni to provide students with opportunities to interact with former first-generation students who have been successful in their professional lives. Alumni made presentations and met informally with students throughout the year.

Program Outcomes

Increased retention and improved academic performance and persistence by first-generation students versus all first-time, first-year students showed the positive impact of the program. For spring 2010 and fall 2010, the first-generation students persisted at a rate of 92 percent and 66 percent compared with 90 percent and 66 percent for all first-year students. The GPA of first-generation students was 2.8 versus 2.6 for all first-year students. In succeeding semesters, retention and GPAs for both groups were comparable, which is significant given the lack of adequate preparation among many first-generation students.
Because of the program, Rosemont College also was strengthened by the successful involvement of alumni in interacting with first-generation students.

Program Updates

Rosemont College’s bridge program continues.