Summer Bridge

summer bridge students
​​​​​Summer Bridge

Summer Bridge launched in 2021 to help support first-year students with their transition to college
through early arrival programming and wraparound support throughout their first year. The program focusses on first-generation, low-income, and historically underrepresented students.


First-year students

served  (2021-2023)

↑ 4-6%
Increase in first-year retention rates for underserved students in program 
Of participants said program strengthened peer connections and campus knowledge  


Students in a Summer Bridge excursion to OIMB

About Strong Start

To address the long-term impacts of COVID-19 on incoming student preparedness, the Oregon Legislature appropriated federal and state funds to all seven public universities for Strong Start programming.

The University of Oregon received $2.4 million for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 academic years and awarded funds were utilized to support:

  • Six residential summer bridge programs, aligned to existing academic and advising pathways.
  • Expanded first-year academic support, including tutoring, supplemental instruction, Academic Success Hub and peer academic coaching.



Program Highlights

Hear about the benefits of Summer Bridge from the students of our 2022-23 cohort



UESS collected qualitative data from student participants and worked with Institutional Research to evaluate the impact of Strong Start on student outcomes. Initial results are promising and suggest it is making a positive impact in several ways:

►  Summer Bridge is erasing a longstanding equity gap for BIPOC, first-generation and Pell-eligible students in first-year college retention.

► First-generation, Pell-eligible and BIPOC students who participated in the first year of Summer Bridge had higher retention, GPA and credit accumulation rates than their non-participant counterparts:


Graph showing performance of Summer Bridge participants compared to non-participants
Students in a Summer Bridge excursion to Sky ranch

Student Experience

Participants reported the positive impact of the program and its intended outcomes:

  • 96 percent said program strengthened connections with fellow students.
  • 94 percent said it increased their comfort level for start of academic year.
  • 83 percent said it improved their understanding of college expectations.
  • 75 percent said it improved their preparedness for college-level courses.