Publication Date

Summer 5-12-2018

Document Type

Action research project: USD users only.

Degree Name

MA Higher Education Leadership


Leadership Studies


The purpose of this study is to gain a better understanding of the impact summer advising has on student motivation and self-esteem for college enrollment and to better understand the advising practices that may contribute to a successful transition to college for these underrepresented students. This study was done over the summer in a program called Destination College, which provided an extension of services for students in the TRIO program, Talent Search at San Diego State University. This program focuses on outreach and advising for TRIO students who graduated high school and are transitioning into college over the summer. Nationally, many underrepresented high school students that are college-intending still fail to successfully transition to college over the summer, a phenomenon referred to as summer melt (Castleman, Arnold, Wartman, 2012).

For this reason, many summer bridge programs around the nation were created to provide support for not only the technical steps but also to support against emotional and social barriers (Castleman, Arnold, Wartman, 2012). This study used observations, surveys, and a focus group to gather information on the students’ perspective and the advising practices. The results revealed that advising practices such as sharing personal anecdotes, role modeling, and resource exploration were important to motivate and empower students to successfully transition. Further qualitative research in this program is recommended and a student ambassador program to provide more opportunities for students to provide feedback about the program and a support system by sharing their perspectives with other fellow underrepresented students.

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