Effectiveness of Summer Enrichment Programs for Underserved Urban Students

I plan to study the effectiveness of different approaches to summer enrichment programs for underserved urban students. I would like to study which characteristics of these programs help maximize students’ outcomes, such as increased confidence and performance in school, and especially college enrollment and graduation rates. I expect that offering rigorous academic classes or tutoring, college counseling and visits, parental engagement, an early starting age, enrichment activities like projects and community service, and mentoring will help students succeed the most. To conduct this research, I plan to read articles on the effectiveness of these factors, as well as reports on specific programs. I also would like to compare the approach and effectiveness of Breakthrough of Greater Philadelphia, where I am interning this summer, with other similar organizations in Philadelphia, such as Summer Search. I plan to compare statistics from these organizations on college enrollment and college graduation rates to observe which ones may contribute to academic success. This research should improve my understanding of how disadvantaged students can overcome barriers to higher education with the help of summer programs.