Wake Summerbridge is an enrichment program that has supported selected WCPSS middle school students for a number of years. This evaluation compared subsequent academic performance, suspensions and dropout rates of students who had participated in the program with a comparison group of students with similar characteristics who did not participate in the program. The main positive finding was that dropout rates were much lower for Summerbridge students than for the comparison group (1% versus 13%). Achievement scores and grade point averages showed a slight but consistent advantage in absolute terms for Summerbridge students over the comparison group. The differences were not statistically significant, although they may have some educational significance. The percentage of students receiving F’s and suspension rates actually favored the comparison group. However, the higher dropout rate among comparison students may account for the lower number of F’s earned by this group. Some cautions must be kept in mind when interpreting these findings. Sample sizes were relatively small which makes statistical significance more difficult to detect (about 80 per group). Groups could differ in ways that could not be determined from school system data files (e.g., attitude toward school, rigor of course selections, middle versus higher income status). Given the results, the cost of providing the service should also be considered in decisions about future funding.
The Effectiveness of the Wake Summerbridge Summer Enrichment Program. Eye on Evaluation. E&R Report.
Wake County Public School System