Analysis of Residential Education Programe

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Summer Summit at the University of California, San Diego

Summer Summit is a 9-day/8-night residential program that targets high school students in the San Diego area, who are at least at sophomore standing, allowing them to experience campus life at The University of California, San Diego (UCSD). The students who participate in this program are those who come from disadvantaged backgrounds, such as being a first-generation student and living in a low-income household. The program attempts to engage students with numerous workshops focusing on leadership and identity development, college preparation, and aspects of social justice. Additionally, throughout the day, the students will participate in different co-curricular activities, such as campus tours, art nights and scavenger hunts, to help promote community and interpersonal growth. Historically, specific racial and ethical groups and those who come from lower levels of social economic statuses have limited postsecondary education opportunities (Pitre & Pitre, 2009). The lack of college knowledge, as well as, the lack of college preparatory resources and opportunities can contribute to the limited opportunities to access higher education. According to Perna and Swail (2001), involvement in academic programs plays a significant role in closing the achievement gap between disadvantaged students and their more privileged counterparts. This program is funded through the Student Promoted Access Center for Education and Service (SPACES), which is a student-run, student-initiated resource center that focuses on educational equity.

The mission statement of SPACES is, “to act as an empowering dynamic on campus where UCSD students collaborate to achieve greater educational equity. This encompasses equal access to higher education, undergraduate retention and graduation, and matriculation to graduate and professional schools” (UC San Diego, 2007). The creation of SPACES is to address the access needs to marginalized students and to continue providing spaces and programs for marginalized and underrepresented students. SPACES is funded by student fees due to a fee referendum that passed in 2007 and a Memorandum of Understanding with the Vice President of Student Affairs office for matching funding. SPACES house the majority of all cultural and minority student organizations, such as the Black Student Union, Native American Student Alliance, and the Muslim Student Association. Within the department, there are three components: Access, Retention, and Community Engagement. Each organization housed in SPACES has two paid interns working for their student organization to create programs for its members. The student populations the program serves are specifically historically marginalized communities, such as Black and Latinx students.


The stakeholders in this program are student participants, institutional employees (staff members, program coordinators, administrators) and parents. Employees are invested in this program because they want to increase enrollment and involvement in institutional programs. Parents want their children to gain a valuable education and experience in college. Students want to gain insight into a realistic college experience, as well as a valuable education. It is essential that student participants are providing feedback to understand how the content is impacting them and how they are processing the information as well. Through their feedback, this will inform staff members, program coordinators, administration, and the participants’ guardians of the impact the program is having on their students and show that the program is fulfilling their suggested student learning outcomes. This will lead to more investment from the institution and community in the Summer Summit program. The larger the investment from the community and institution, the more resources and effort will go towards the student participants.

Literature Review

Historical Analysis of Access

Higher education institutions in the United States carry a rich history and have transformed alongside major political and societal shifts (Geiger, 2015). The origins and intentions behind the creation of colleges and universities validate the importance of progressive thinking in regard to expanding postsecondary education access to historically marginalized populations. As college student populations have diversified over time, student support services are confronted with new challenges in effectively meeting the needs of nontraditional college students. U.S higher education institutions were initially established to educate and serve White Protestant upper-class men (Geiger, 2015). Student support services took on a paternalistic approach during 1636 through 1850 making student experience reflective of what academic affairs professionals believed students needed which entailed strict micromanagement of students (Schuh, Jones, & Harper, 2011). The emergence of student support services occurred during the 1850s. Universities believed the purpose of higher education was to “…create engaged citizens, provide social mobility, and foster students’ commitment to democracy and service” (Schuh, et al., pp. 63). The third major shift in thought, adopted by student affairs professionals, occurred during 1900 through 1950 which was the idea of developing and educating the whole student (Schuh, et al., pp.64).

Student Engagement Theory

Student Engagement is a critical part of the process of promoting student success. Student engagement is characterized by the participation in educationally effective practices, both inside and outside the classroom (Quaye & Harper, 2015). In layman’s terms, students can exhibit engagement by being involved in both curricular and co-curricular activities. Engagement can be shown and identified by two distinct features. The first is the amount of effort and time that students put into educational responsibilities, such as their school work and studies. The second significant element of student engagement is displayed by how an institution uses, organizes and allocates its resources and creates its curriculum to motivate students to participate in events and activities that will help them gain the experiences towards their development and lead to the desired outcomes of persistence, learning, and graduation (Quaye & Harper, 2015). The idea that the more time and effort students devote to purposeful learning experiences, the more they benefit depends on how the institution ensures student engagement. Being more involved on a college campus has several benefits for the student, regardless of background. There a drastic difference in the experiences and performance of students who are considered to be engaged on a college campus and those who are not. Student engagement helps students develop confidence and gain a greater commitment to their learning. It is essential that an institution organizes its resources and create conditions for teaching and learning based on educationally effective practices (Kuh et al. 2007).

Program Logic Model










  • Funding
  • Staff
  • Materials
  • Campus Partners
  • Conference Services
  • Volunteers
  • ASI
  • Daily/Nightly meetings to discuss and explore topics related to identity, interpersonal development
  • Workshops centered around college readiness
  • Workshops on different social justice topics
  • Interactive Ice-breakers and activities
  • Team-Bonding/Group bonding activities (scavenger hunt, movie nights, etc.)
  • High school students
  • Program Staff members
  • ASI students
  • Volunteers

Participants will be able to:

  • Explain the different components of the college admissions process
  • Identify parts of their identity that play a significant role in their lives
  • Describe the importance of social justice and equity in higher education and the world
  • Apply for college (2 year or 4-year)
  • Identify campus resources on their respective campuses
  • Graduate from a four- year or two-year


Evaluation Design

Evaluation Questions

  1.    Are the workshops and activities effective in teaching interpersonal and self-awareness skills?
  2.    Do the participants feel more confident in navigating their four-year experience?
  3.    Did the program contribute to the level of college readiness through workshops?

Evaluation Plan

 For this program evaluation, the design will be formative and summative. The combination of these strategies will be beneficial in providing greater insight into the Summer Summit program. In order to determine whether the workshops and activities were effective in teaching the desired skillsets, a pre-and post-survey will be used to gain information on the success of the workshop in reaching its goals. To assess the confidence level and college preparedness of the participants, an exit interview will be conducted following the completion of the program. The goal of the interview is to assess the overall impact the program had on the participants. Open-ended questions will be utilized to encourage participants to explain the full details of their experience. Sample questions include: What did you learn from the college preparedness/readiness workshops? What is an aspect of the program that you could apply to your future college experience?

Data Collection

At the end of each day, students will be evaluating the segment to collect information about how they are learning during the workshops. At the end of the entire program, students will fill out a summative survey to provide feedback about the overall program. The students will be filling out paper surveys so that everyone has access to the information.

Formative survey questions. The formative questions that evaluators will implement are related to specific segments and asking specific questions related to the way students are processing information in order to inform facilitators the best way to engage students. In addition, this will identify both students’ and facilitators’ strengths and areas of growth. As formative questions are asked throughout the different workshops and segments, this will create a baseline for the students and compare if there was an improvement overall in the way students were learning the content.

Summative survey questions. The summative questions that the evaluators will implement are related to the overall growth and development of the students in college preparedness, identity development, and intercultural development. By implementing a pre-survey will provide a baseline for the post-survey results. Not only will be collecting information on a Likert-scale, but we will also be collecting statements from students to provide qualitative data about their improvement and development.


In the dissemination of findings, it is essential to consider the audience and stakeholders who will be learning about the evaluation. Culture plays a huge role in how evaluations are taken place and how the information is delivered. For example, Summer Summit is a program for first-generation, low-income students and their families; English may not be their first language. We must also consider the issue of access to specific resources to learn about the data. One way to disseminate the findings is to hold town halls in the community in which the students are from. In these meetings, it is also necessary to have multiple days and locations in which the information is broadcasted, so that a larger audience is reached.


  • Fitzpatrick, J. L., Sanders, J. R., & Worthen, B. R. (2004). Program evaluation: Alternative approaches and practical guidelines.
  • Geiger, R. L. (2015). History of American higher education: Learning and culture from the founding to World War II. New Jersey: Princeton University Press.
  • Kuh, G.D., Kinzie, J., Buckley, J.A., Bridges, B.K. and Hayek, J.C. (2007) Piecing Together the Student Success Puzzle: Research, Propositions, and Recommendations. ASHE Higher Education Report, Vol 32, No 5. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  • Perna, L. W., & Swail, W. S. (2001). Pre-college outreach and early intervention. Thought & Action17(1), 99.
  • Pitre, C. C., & Pitre, P. (2009). Increasing underrepresented high school students’ college transitions and achievements. NASSP Bulletin, 93(2), 96-110.
  • Quaye, S. J. & Harper, S. R. (2015). Student engagement in higher education: Theoretical perspectives and practical approaches for diverse populations. New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Schuh, J. H., Jones, S. R. Harper, S. R., & Komives, S. R. (2011). Student services a handbook for the profession. San Francisco: Jossey-Bss.
  • UC San Diego. (2007). Retrieved from
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