Bridges to the Future Program Evaluation

National Institute of General Medical Sciences
November 20, 1996


A. Background

In February 1992, the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) and the NIH Office of Research on Minority Health (ORMH) announced the implementation of the Bridges to the Future initiative. To increase the number of underrepresented minorities entering careers in biomedical research, two Bridges programs were established to target two different student populations. The Doctoral Bridge program targets minorities enrolled in colleges and universities offering only Master of Science (M.S.) degree programs in the biomedical sciences, and the Baccalaureate Bridge program targets students in two-year junior or community colleges.

These students are at key transition points with regard to choosing careers in biomedical research. The Bridges programs encourage development of new and innovative approaches to improve the academic competitiveness of these students and to facilitate their transition into careers in biomedical research. The objective of the Baccalaureate Bridge program is to facilitate the transition of minority students at two-year colleges into colleges with baccalaureate degree programs in the sciences. The Doctoral Bridge program seeks to facilitate the transition of students into Ph.D. programs when they complete the M.S. degree.

To aid the transition of students from the first-level institution (the 2-year or M.S. institution), the Bridges programs promote and enhance partnerships between institutions. Each Bridges grant involves a partnership between a grantee institution and one or more partner schools. Participating in each Baccalaureate Bridge program is at least one 2-year institution and at least one 4-year institution. Similarly, each Doctoral Bridge program involves the participation of at least one M.S. and one Ph.D.-granting institution.

The project period for the initial Bridges award is two years and grants are renewable, subject to peer review. Institutions may request up to one year for planning and development before enrolling students. Examples of activities that Bridges programs carry out include the following:

  • Providing laboratory research experiences for students and faculty at the first-level institution,
  • Establishing a mentoring program with faculty from the second-level institution,
  • Creating visiting lectureships and courses by science faculty,
  • Providing academic counseling for students, and
  • Providing enhancement activities such as tutoring or visits to research institutions.

Grantees of the Bridges Program are expected to implement plans to track students' educational and career progress, and additional funds have been made available by NIGMS for this purpose. Grantees have been encouraged to use the NIGMS Electronic Student Tracking and Reporting (E-STAR) system to maintain appointment and educational history records of students participating in the Bridges program.

B. Assessing Program Outcomes

There are two program outcomes that are particularly relevant to the goals of the Bridges Program: (1) the transition of students from two-year to four-year institutions, or from M.S. to Ph.D. programs (which will be referred to as the transfer of students to the second-level program); and (2) the retention of students in the educational pathway both prior to and after making the transition from one institution to another.

These educational outcomes occur over an extended period of time (more information on the length of time enrolled is presented in the next section). In efforts to assess programs whose outcomes can take several years to develop, it is often the case that measures taken at any point in time will not fully reflect program outcomes which have yet to occur. In this assessment, two analytic approaches were used to examine the effect of curtailed outcome data and to minimize its influence: (1) outcome data are presented separately for the 37 grantees (27 Baccalaureate programs and 10 Doctoral programs) whose initial funding began prior to FY94 (see Table 1); and (2) educational outcomes were assessed for separate groups of students (cohorts) formed on the basis of their first year of involvement in the Bridges program. The cohort analyses provide the opportunity to see more clearly the effects of curtailment and to assess more accurately what the outcomes of a program are when assessed over a longer period of time.

C. Assessment of the Baccalaureate Bridge Program

Program Description

The Baccalaureate Bridge Program supports transitional programs between institutions that grant Associate's degrees in the sciences and colleges and universities with baccalaureate degree programs. Funded programs are intended to enhance the academic qualifications of students in the Associate degree-granting institution and to facilitate their enrollment in baccalaureate degree programs.

Under the Baccalaureate Bridge program, 39 grantee institutions had received support, along with 131 participating institutions, by the start of FY 1996. 1 Of these institutions, 45 offer the baccalaureate degree and 125 are two-year colleges.

The number of students who have received support under the Baccalaureate Bridge program is 1,592. 2 The characteristics of these students are summarized in Tables 3 and 4. The areas in which these students have majored are shown in Table 5.

Outcomes of the Institutional Baccalaureate Bridge Programs

Table 6 provides a summary of the current status 3 of all students that have participated in Baccalaureate Bridge programs. As expected, a large fraction of these students (43%) are recent participants and are still attending a 2-year institution. Figure 1 provides a graphic representation of the educational pathways of Bridges students using the data contained in Table 6. In this figure, the shaded boxes indicate the different educational outcomes of Bridges students. Within these boxes are the number of students that are currently in these states and the proportion of the 1592 Bridges students they represent. Along the paths of the diagram which diverge from a single point, the percentage of students taking each alternative path also is provided. For example, among students who have progressed beyond enrollment at a 2-year institution, 53% have enrolled in a 4-year school, 33% have left the system without completing a 2-year degree, and the remaining 14% left after completing the Associate's degree.

Corresponding statistics for the 27 oldest Baccalaureate Bridge programs are provided in Table 7. The students supported by these early grantees account for the majority (82%) of all students who have been supported by the Bridges program, and limiting the focus to these early programs has little effect on the outcome statistics. The remaining sections focus on data from these 27 programs and analyses conducted by cohorts of new students.

Receipt of the A.A. Degree - Although receipt of the two-year degree is not a requirement for successful transfer to a four-year school, some Bridges students (19%) have received A.A. degrees. Among the first three cohorts of Bridges students (those who were first supported in academic years 1993 through 1995 4 ), 23% have received a two-year degree.

Transition to a Four-Year Program - Approximately one-third of all students supported by the earliest Bridges programs have transferred to a four-year school. However, as expected, the rate at which students transfer increases with the length of time since they were first appointed to the program. Of the first cohort of Bridges students (67 students who were appointed to the program in the 1993 academic year), 71% transferred to a four-year school. This rate of transfer varies by grantee from 39% to 100%. Not all students have transferred to 4-year institutions participating in the Bridges program. Of the 460 students who have transferred, 22% transferred to institutions not participating in the program.

Similar statistics for later cohorts of students also are provided in Table 7. The effect of curtailed data on the rates of transfer is apparent in this table; the transfer rate drops from 70% among students first appointed to a Bridges grant in 1993 to 33% in 1995. It should be noted that, for Bridges students, enrollments at 2-year institutions often exceed two years. Among students who have left their 2-year institution and made the transition to a four-year institution, the median length of enrollment at the 2-year institution was 32 months.

Table 7 also shows an increase in the proportion of students who leave school without having made the transition from a 2-year to a 4-year institution; from 16% of the 1993 cohort to 39% of the 1995 cohort. This trend also could be an artifact of curtailed outcome data resulting from a time lag between leaving the 2-year school and entering a 4-year institution 5 . Among students who have transferred, the median length of time between leaving a 2-year school and entering a 4-year school is about 3 months, but for some students, this interval has exceeded 3 years 6 .

More detailed information on the changing status of students in each cohort suggests that data curtailment only partially accounts for the greater numbers of students in later cohorts who have not transferred after leaving their 2-year institution. Figures 2a-c show the proportion of each cohort of students who have transferred and the proportion who have left their 2-year institution but not enrolled in a 4-year institution as a function of the number of months since the start of their cohort year. For each cohort, the proportion of students who have transferred increases with time. The proportion who have left but not enrolled in a 4-year institution tends to increase with time, but decreases occur as students subsequently enroll in 4-year institutions (particularly near the start of each new academic year–i.e., at 12, 24, 36 months).

A comparison of these figures shows that the 1993 cohort of students differs from the 1994 and 1995 cohorts. At any point in time, relative to their first appointment to a Bridges grant, a larger proportion of the later cohorts have left a 2-year school without enrolling in a 4-year institution. Figures 3a and 3b provide a comparison of the proportions of each cohort who have transferred (3a) or left without transferring (3b) as a function of the number of months since their appointment to the Bridges program. 7

Four-Year Degrees Sought - Of those Bridges students who have transferred, retention has been high: 86% are still enrolled and seeking a 4-year degree, and an additional 9% have already received their degrees. The remaining 5% transferred to a 4-year institution but left without a having received a degree. Students' major fields of study after transferring to four-year institutions are shown in Table 8.

Among the first cohort of students who transferred, 28% have received a four-year degree, and 66% are still pursuing their degree. The remainder, 6%, did not receive a 4-year degree and are not reported as currently enrolled in any educational institution.

Degrees Sought Beyond the Baccalaureate - As shown in Table 7, some students have pursued degrees beyond the baccalaureate. However, it is likely to be too soon to establish good estimates of the proportion of Bridges students who will eventually pursue and obtain such degrees. Of the 14 students seeking higher degrees, eight are reported to be seeking masters' degrees, five seeking an M.D., and one an M.D./Ph.D.

Comparison with Other Institutional Statistics - To provide a frame of reference for interpreting data on the educational outcomes of Bridges students, an attempt was made to gather similar information on other groups of students at the same institutions. An effort was made to collect, at each institution, information on all students in the pool from which Bridges students are drawn (e.g., those majoring in fields targeted by the Bridges grant). Institutions were asked to provide for each year, beginning with the five years prior to receiving Bridges grant support and continuing for each year thereafter, the number of new entering students, the number of these students who have received degrees, and the number who have transferred to seek second-level degrees.

Many institutions reported difficulty in obtaining these numbers. Among the Baccalaureate programs, information on minority entrants to 2-year schools was available from at least some of the institutions participating in 11 of the 39 programs. These schools represent about 25% of all participating 2-year schools. For those institutions that were able to provide data, not all could provide this information for all of the requested years, and the groups of students on which statistics were available varied. For example, while some schools were able to provide information at the requested level of detail, other schools were able to provide only aggregate data for the institution's entire student body.

Table 9 summarizes transfer rates calculated from enrollment data provided by the 2-year institutions participating in the Bridges program. (The total number of institutions reporting in each year is shown at the bottom of the table.) The rate of transfer among each cohort of entering minority students varies widely from program to program, as does the extent to which these rates differ from those observed among Bridges students. This variation may reflect both true differences between schools in the rate at which their students pursue higher-level degrees as well as variation among schools in population definitions and methods of gathering and reporting data.

Conclusions

Information collected on the earliest cohort of Baccalaureate Bridges students is generally positive. Although 16% of these students were not successful in making the transition to a 4-year institution, most of the remainder have either transferred or are still enrolled at a 2-year school. Although the quantity and quality of the comparison data is not high, rates of transfer among Bridges students appear to be higher than rates among other students at the few institutions who were able to provide these data. Transfer rates for later cohorts of Bridges students drop dramatically from a level of 70% among the first (1993) cohort. This suggests that data from these later cohorts are curtailed, resulting in transfer rates in these years that are biased downward. It is expected that rates among students appointed in 1994 and 1995 will increase with the passage of time.

However, trend data on the proportion of students in the later cohorts who have left 2-year institutions without enrolling in 4-year schools suggests that the rate of transfer in these cohorts may not reach the rate found in the 1993 cohort. In the 1994 and 1995 cohorts, larger proportion of students have left 2-year schools without enrolling in 4-year institutions. The rates of transfer in the 1994 and 1995 cohorts, shown in Figure 3a, are nearly identical and below the rate of the 1993 cohort. It's not clear whether these differences between cohorts are attributable to less tendency for students in the later cohorts to transfer to 4-year schools, greater latency in enrolling in a 4-year institution, or less complete tracking of later cohorts of students.

Success in completing the baccalaureate degree among those students who have transferred is high, and comparable to the rate found among other minority students in an evaluation of the NIGMS Minority Access to Research Careers Program. At the baccalaureate level, approximately 70% of students are majoring in fields such as the biology, chemistry and biochemistry, and molecular and microbiology. Other major fields with significant numbers of students are nursing, psychology, and other health sciences. It is too soon to develop good estimates of the proportion of these students who ultimately will complete their 4-year degree and how many will continue into graduate programs.

D. Assessment of the Doctoral Bridge Program

Program Description

The Doctoral Bridge Program supports transitional programs between institutions with departments for which the master's degree is the highest degree offered and research universities which offer a Ph.D. degree. Funded programs are intended to enhance the academic qualifications of students in the M.S. programs and to facilitate their enrollment in research doctoral programs.

Under the Baccalaureate Bridge program, 19 grantee institutions had received support, along with 35 participating institutions, by the start of FY 1996. 8 Of these institutions, 27 offer the master's degree and 27 are Ph.D.-granting institutions.

Compared to the Baccalaureate Bridge program, fewer students have received support on a Doctoral Bridge grant. Among the 19 grants funded by the end of FY 1995, 134 students have received support. 9 On average, about 41 students have been supported on each Baccalaureate Bridge grant, compared to an average of about 7 students on each Doctoral Bridge grant. The characteristics of the Doctoral Bridge students are summarized in Tables 10 and 11. The areas in which these students have majored are shown in Table 12.

Outcomes of the Institutional Doctoral Bridge Programs

Table 13 provides a summary of the current status of all students that have participated in Doctoral Bridge programs. As expected, a large fraction of these students (57%) are recent participants and are still enrolled in a master's degree program. Figure 4 provides a graphic representation of the educational pathways of Bridges students using the data contained in Table 13. Due to the smaller number of participants in the Doctoral Bridges program, there is not sufficient data to develop a pathway as complete as that developed for students in the Baccalaureate program.

Corresponding statistics for the 10 oldest Baccalaureate Bridge programs are provided in Table 14. As found in the data for the Baccalaureate programs, limiting the focus to these early programs has little effect on the outcome statistics.

Receipt of the M.S. Degree - Among the first three cohorts of Doctoral Bridges students (those who were first supported in academic years 1993 through 1995), 22 students (31%) have received a master's degree.

Transition to a Ph.D. Program - Approximately 20% of all students supported by the earliest Bridges programs have transferred to a doctoral program (15 students who pursued a Ph.D. and 2 students who pursued a clinical doctorate). However, as expected, the rate at which students transfer increases with the length of time since they were first appointed to the program. Of the first cohort of students (6 students who were appointed to the program in the 1993 academic year), 4 transferred to a doctoral program.

Similar statistics for later cohorts of students also are provided in Table 14. The curtailed outcome data results in a drop in the transfer rate from 67% among students first appointed to a Bridges grant in 1993 to 12% in 1995. (For Bridges students, enrollments at master's institutions often exceed two years. Among students who have left their master's institution and made the transition to a doctoral program, the median length of enrollment at the master's institution was 36 months.)

Table 14 table also shows an increase in the proportion of students who leave school without having made the transition from a 2-year to a 4-year institution; 10 from 17% of the 1993 cohort to 50% of the 1995 cohort. This trend also could be an artifact of curtailed outcome data resulting from a time lag between leaving the master's school and entering a doctoral program. Unlike the data used to examine the Baccalaureate programs, the smaller cohorts of students in the Doctoral Bridges program doesn't provide the opportunity for a more detailed analysis of these trends across cohorts.

Doctoral Degrees Sought - Bridges students' major fields of study in doctoral programs are shown in Table 8. Of the 21 Bridges students who have transferred from all cohorts, 3 are no longer enrolled and did not complete the doctoral degree. All three of these students were among the 11 students who transferred from the first two cohorts. Restricting the focus to the first two cohorts of students appointed to Doctoral Bridge grants in 1993 and 1994 (a total of 21 students), in addition to the 3 students who did not complete their doctorate, 5 students left their master's institution and have not entered a doctoral program. This rate of attrition (38%) is below the national average (estimated to be between 50 and 60 percent 11 ), but it is still too soon to estimate what will be the completion rate of Bridges students in doctoral programs.

Comparison with Other Institutional Statistics - The small cohorts of Doctoral Bridges students, and the unavailability of institutional transfer rates from Bridges institutions do not permit a meaningful comparison of the Doctoral Bridges program outcomes to other institutional statistics at this time.

Conclusions

From the current data, it is difficult to develop good estimates of the eventual outcomes of participants in the Doctoral Bridges programs. The early cohorts of students, and the average number supported on each grant, were small. (Although about 50 to 60 new students have been appointed in each of the last two academic years.) Of the 21 students who were in the first two cohorts of Bridges students, about one-half have transferred to a doctoral program (3 of the 11 who did so left without receiving the doctorate), about one-quarter are still enrolled in a master's institution, and the remaining one-quarter have left their master's institution without making this transition.

Table 1. Baccalaureate Bridge programs included in the study

  Grant Institution Grant Start Date
1 GM48987 University of Peurto Rico, Rio Piedras 9/30/92
2 GM48993 University of Arizona 9/30/92
3 GM48998 New Mexico State University 9/30/92
4 GM49001 California State University, Los Angeles 9/30/92
5 GM49011 Univ of Texas at El Paso 9/30/92
6 GM48990 University of Kentucky 2/1/93
7 GM48983 California State University, Hayward 2/1/93
8 GM48989 CUNY Laguardia Community College 2/1/93
9 GM48997 Chicago State University 2/1/93
10 GM49003 Texas Southern University 2/1/93
11 GM49005 University of South Alabama 2/1/93
12 GM49010 Case Western Reserve University 2/1/93
13 GM49012 Georgia State University 2/1/93
14 GM50067 University of California, Los Angeles 2/1/93
15 GM50069 University of Maryland at College Park 2/1/93
16 GM50070 SUNY Health Science Center at Stony Brook 2/1/93
17 GM50071 CUNY Bronx Community College 2/1/93
18 GM50078 San Francisco State University 2/1/93
19 GM50081 Memphis State University 2/1/93
20 GM50082 CUNY City College 2/1/93
21 GM50083 University of Miami 2/1/93
22 GM50094 Rutgers the State Univ of NJ, Newark 2/1/93
23 GM50097 University of Nevada, Las Vegas 2/1/93
24 GM50106 San Diego State University 2/1/93
25 GM50112 Texas A&M University 2/1/93
26 GM50117 Jackson State University 2/1/93
27 GM50142 University of North Dakota 2/1/93
28 GM50075 Florida A&M University 9/30/94
29 GM50089 California State University, Long Beach 9/30/94
30 GM50110 New Mexico Highlands University 9/30/94
31 GM51755 University of Montana 9/30/94
32 GM51765 University of California, Santa Cruz 9/30/94
33 GM51766 Talladega College 9/30/94
34 GM51772 Thomas Jefferson University 9/30/94
35 GM51773 Louisiana State Univ Medical Center 9/30/94
36 GM53398 Daytona Beach Community College 9/30/95
37 GM53403 University of Minnesota - Duluth 9/30/95
38 GM53404 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 9/30/95
39 GM53413 Wayne State University 9/30/95

Table 2. Doctoral Bridge programs included in the study

  Grant Institution Grant Start Date
1 GM48972 San Francisco State University 9/1/92
2 GM48969 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 9/30/92
3 GM48966 Florida A&M University 2/1/93
4 GM48988 Texas Southern University 2/1/93
5 GM48970 Tuskegee University 9/1/93
6 GM48971 University of Alabama at Birmingham 9/1/93
7 GM50080 Univ of Texas Health Sci Center, San Antonio 9/1/93
8 GM50102 University of Vermont 9/1/93
9 GM48967 Virginia Commonwealth University 9/1/93
10 GM48965 Univ of Texas Health Sci Center, Houston 9/1/93
11 GM51745 University of Southern Colorado 9/30/94
12 GM51757 North Carolina State University at Raleigh 9/30/94
13 GM51780 University of Rhode Island 9/30/94
14 GM51759 Meharry Medical College 9/30/94
15 GM51783 CUNY Graduate School 9/30/94
16 GM51793 University of Michigan - Ann Arbor 9/30/94
17 GM51788 University of North TX Hlth Sci Ctr Ft Worth 9/30/94
18 GM53420 West Georgia College 9/30/95
19 GM53421 University of Minnesota, Duluth 9/30/95

Table 3. Race/ethnicity of students supported under the Baccalaureate Bridges program

RACE/ETHNICITY NUMBER PERCENT
American Indian/Alaskan Native 148 9.3
Asian, not Pacific Islander 60 3.8
Black, Non-Hispanic 689 43.3
     
Mexican 16 1.0
Mexican American 179 11.2
Puerto Rican 71 4.5
Cuban 29 1.8
Other Hispanic 191 12.0
    Hispanic Subtotal 486 30.5
     
White, Non-Hispanic 74 4.6
Pacific Islander 65 4.1
Other 70 4.4

Table 4. Sex of Baccalaureate Bridges students

SEX NUMBER PERCENT
Female 949 59.6
Male 625 39.3
Unknown 18 1.1

Table 5. Major disciplines of Bridges students seeking Associates degrees

MAJOR NUMBER PERCENT
BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES 748 47.6
CHEMISTRY, GENERAL 160 10.2
NURSING 97 6.2
BIOCHEMISTRY 58

3.7

HEALTH SCIENCES, GENERAL 31

2.0

PHARMACY 30 1.9
COMPUTER SCIENCE 25 1.6
ENGINEERING, SCIENCE 23 1.5
MEDICINE AND SURGERY 19 1.2
MICROBIOLOGY 19 1.2
ENGINEERING, BIOMEDICAL 17 1.1
ALL OTHER FIELDS COMBINED 345 21.7

Table 6. Summary of educational outcomes of 2-year to 4-year Bridges students, for all years and by academic year of first appointment, 1993-1995

  Academic Year
  All Years 1993 1994 1995
Numbers of Students        
         
Number Appointed 1592 67 434 528
Still Seeking 2-Year Degree 692 9 117 161
Left w/o Transferring 414 11 124 192
Transferred 460 47 186 172
    Still Seeking 4-Year Degree 401 31 157 159
    Left w/o Completing 4-Year Degree 20 3 7 9
    Completed 4-Year Degree 39 9 14 2
        Seeking Higher Degree 14 4 8 2
        Left w/o Seeking Higher Degree 25 9 14 2
Status Unknown 26 0 7 3
         
As Percentage of Students Appointed        
         
Still Seeking 2-Year Degree 43.5% 13.4% 27.0% 30.5%
Left w/o Transferring 26.0% 16.4% 28.6% 36.4%
Transferred 28.9% 70.1% 42.9% 32.6%
    Still Seeking 4-Year Degree 25.2% 46.3% 36.2% 30.1%
    Left w/o Completing 4-Year Degree 1.3% 4.5% 1.6% 1.7%
    Completed 4-Year Degree 2.4% 19.4% 5.1% 0.8%
        Seeking Higher Degree 0.9% 6.0% 1.8% 0.4%
        Left w/o Seeking Higher Degree 1.6% 13.4% 3.2% 0.4%
Status Unknown 1.6% 0.0% 1.6% 0.6%

Table 7. Summary of educational outcomes of 2-year to 4-year Bridges students in the oldest Bridges programs (initial funding in FY1992 and FY1993) for all years and by academic year of first appointment, 1993-1995

  Academic Year
  All Years 1993 1994 1995
Numbers of Students        
         
Number Appointed 1307 67 434 442
Still Seeking 2-Year Degree 504 9 117 129
Left w/o Transferring 356 11 124 164
Transferred 428 47 186 147
    Still Seeking 4-Year Degree 369 31 157 134
    Left w/o Completing 4-Year Degree 20 3 7 9
    Completed 4-Year Degree 39 13 22 4
        Seeking Higher Degree 14 4 8 2
        Left w/o Seeking Higher Degree 25 9 14 2
Status Unknown 19 0 7 2
         
As Percentage of Students Appointed        
         
Still Seeking 2-Year Degree 38.6% 13.4% 27.0% 29.2%
Left w/o Transferring 27.2% 16.4% 28.6% 37.1%
Transferred 32.7% 70.1% 42.9% 33.3%
    Still Seeking 4-Year Degree 28.2% 46.3% 36.2% 30.3%
    Left w/o Completing 4-Year Degree 1.5% 4.5% 1.6% 2.0%
    Completed 4-Year Degree 3.0% 19.4% 5.1% 0.9%
        Seeking Higher Degree 1.1% 6.0% 1.8% 0.5%
        Left w/o Seeking Higher Degree 1.9% 13.4% 3.2% 0.5%
Status Unknown 1.5% 0.0% 1.6% 0.5%

Table 8. Major fields of Bridges students seeking 4-year degrees

Major Number %
     
BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, GENERAL 194 42.2%
BIOCHEMISTRY 49 10.7%
CHEMISTRY, GENERAL 42 9.1%
NURSING 18 3.9%
MOLECULAR BIOLOGY 18 3.9%
MICROBIOLOGY 17 3.7%
HEALTH SCIENCES, GENERAL 13 2.8%
PSYCHOLOGY 12 2.6%
ALL OTHER FIELDS COMBINED 97 21.1%

Table 9. Comparison of Bridges students' rates of transfer to historical rates, by grantee. Blank cells indicate no entrants reported in that year

Minority Transfers Cohort Year Bridge Student Transfer Rates
Bridge Type Role of Institution   1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 All Years 1993 1994 1995
AA to BS AA     7.69% 5.26% 2.78% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 1.17%   100.0% 70.0%
            33.03% 59.00% 71.43% 50.00% 74.70% 56.02%   75.0% 76.9%
      26.58% 29.82% 26.93% 25.04% 19.44% 11.76% 5.31% 0.39% 12.87% 64.7% 60.0% 70.0%
      81.05% 56.59% 67.18% 75.30% 65.10% 60.16% 66.33% 68.42% 67.14%   83.3% 55.6%
      0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.65% 0.00% 5.00% 0.00% 4.08% 2.12%   52.9% 41.7%
        4.46% 4.42% 6.04% 5.51% 6.76% 7.85% 0.00% 5.42%   55.2% 48.3%
        6.87% 9.02% 7.26% 9.24% 8.70% 10.48% 9.06% 8.56%   7.7% 15.0%
      36.07% 48.82% 37.89% 44.28% 23.34% 49.22% 24.62% 0.00% 32.99%   72.7% 40.0%
        56.82% 5.75% 1.92% 1.47% 1.33% 0.94% 1.67% 1.95%   64.3% 21.1%
        73.53% 69.23% 70.00% 68.00% 62.96% 50.00% 51.16% 63.25%     63.6%
            0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 7.66% 7.04% 5.09%      
  AA Total 46.47% 38.59% 30.83% 27.90% 20.40% 25.40% 16.62% 10.73% 24.19% 64.7% 59.0% 46.2%
  Number of Institutions Reporting 4 27 29 33 31 32 32 31        

Table 10. Race/ethnicity of students supported under the Doctoral Bridges program

RACE/ETHNICITY NUMBER PERCENT
American Indian/Alaskan Native 2 1.9
Asian, not Pacific Islander 5 4.8
Black, Non-Hispanic 65 61.9
     
Mexican 2 1.9
Mexican American 5 4.8
Puerto Rican 2 1.9
Cuban 2 1.9
Other Hispanic 11 10.5
    Hispanic Subtotal 22 21.0
     
White, Non-Hispanic 3 2.9
Pacific Islander 3 2.9
Other 5 4.8
Unknown 29  

Table 11. Sex of Doctoral Bridges students

SEX NUMBER PERCENT
Female 72 54.0
Male 62 46.0

Table 12. Major disciplines of Bridges students seeking master’s degrees

MAJOR NUMBER PERCENT
BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES 63 47.0
PHYSIOLOGY 12 9.0
MOLECULAR BIOLOGY 9 6.7
MICROBIOLOGY 6 4.5
CELL BIOLOGY 5 3.7
CHEMISTRY 7 5.2
BIOCHEMISTRY 3 2.2
ALL OTHER FIELDS COMBINED 29 21.6

Table 13. Summary of educational outcomes of Doctoral Bridges students, for all years and by academic year of first appointment, 1993-1995

  Academic Year
  All Years 1993 1994 1995
Numbers of Students        
         
Number Appointed 134 6 15 51
Still Seeking Master's Degree 76 1 4 19
Left w/o Transferring 37 1 4 24
Transferred 21 4 7 8
    Seeking Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. 16 3 5 6
    Seeking M.D. 2 0 0 2
    Left w/o Completing Doctorate 3 1 2 0
    Completed Doctorate 0 0 0 0
         
As Percentage of Students Appointed        
         
Still Seeking Master's Degree 56.7% 16.7% 26.7% 37.3%
Left w/o Transferring 27.6% 16.7% 26.7% 47.1%
Transferred 15.7% 66.7% 46.7% 15.7%
    Seeking Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. 11.9% 50.0% 33.3% 11.8%
    Seeking Clinical Doctorate 1.5% 0.0% 0.0% 3.9%
    Left w/o Completing Doctorate 2.2% 16.7% 13.3% 0.0%
    Completed Doctorate 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%

Table 14. Summary of educational outcomes of Doctoral Bridges students in the oldest Bridges programs (initial funding in FY1992 and FY1993) for all years and by academic year of first appointment, 1993-1995

  Academic Year
  All Years 1993 1994 1995
Numbers of Students        
         
Number Appointed 91 6 15 42
Still Seeking Master's Degree 46 1 4 16
Left w/o Transferring 28 1 4 21
Transferred 17 4 7 5
    Seeking Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. 12 3 5 3
    Seeking Clinical Doctorate 2 0 0 2
    Left w/o Completing Doctorate 3 1 2 0
    Completed Doctorate 0 0 0 0
         
As Percentage of Students Appointed        
         
Still Seeking Master's Degree 50.5% 16.7% 26.7% 38.1%
Left w/o Transferring 30.8% 16.7% 26.7% 50.0%
Transferred 18.7% 66.7% 46.7% 11.9%
    Seeking Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. 13.2% 50.0% 33.3% 7.1%
    Seeking M.D. 2.2% 0.0% 0.0% 4.8%
    Left w/o Completing Doctorate 3.3% 16.7% 13.3% 0.0%
    Completed Doctorate 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%

Figure 1 . The educational pathways of Bridges students.

Flowchart of educational pathways of Bridges students

Figures 2a-c. Proportion of students who have transferred to a 4-year institution, and the proportion who have left their 2-year school but not enrolled in a 4-year institution, as a function of the number of months from appointment to the Bridges program.

Chart of proportion of students who have transferred to a 4-year institution 

Chart of the proportion who have left their 2-year school but not enrolled in a 4-year institution 

Chart of the number of months from appointment to the Bridges program

Figure 3a and b. Proportion of 1993, 1994, and 1995 cohorts who transferred to 4-year schools or have left 2-year institution and not enrolled in 4-year school, as a function of number of months from appointment to the Bridges program.

Chart of Proportion of 1993, 1994, and 1995 cohorts who transferred to 4-year schools or have left 2-year institution and not enrolled in 4-year school 

Chart of number of months from appointment to the Bridges program

Figure 4. The educational pathways of Doctoral Bridges students.

Flowchart of educational pathways of Doctoral Bridges students


[ 1] Five of these 39 grants are no longer active, and eight new programs started at the end of FY 1996.

[ 2] Two of the grantees included in the study did not provide data on any students. One of these grantees cited difficulty in recruiting students for the program. Neither of these grantees are currently funded.

[ 3] "Current status" will be used to refer to the students’ status as reflected in the E-STAR database as of late September, 1996.

[ 4] Each academic year begins on July 1 and extends through the following June. An academic year is referred to by the calendar year in which it ends. For example, students appointed in academic year 1993 includes students appointed during the period July 1, 1992 through June 30, 1993.

[ 5] Students reported as no longer enrolled will include a combination of former students who are no longer enrolled and students whose current educational status is unknown.

[ 6] There are a few students with the longest intervals who, according to the educational history records, left their 2-year institution prior to the start of the Bridges program. These students apparently participated in the Bridges program only at the baccalaureate level.

[ 7] In Figures 2a-c,3a,and 3b, the data from one grant were excluded due to an apparent absence of student tracking.

[ 8] Three of these 19 grants are no longer active, and one new program started at the end of FY 1996.

[ 9] One of the grantees included in the study did not provide data on any students, citing difficulties in recruiting students for the program. This grantee is not currently funded.

[ 10] Students reported as no longer enrolled will include a combination of former students who are no longer enrolled and students whose current educational status is unknown.

[ 11] Committee on Biomedical and Behavioral Research Personnel, National Research Council, Biomedical and Behavioral Research Scientists: Their Training and Supply. Volume I: Findings, Washington DC: National Academy Press, 1989.