Skip to Content

National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition

Publication Details

Measuring the Success of a Summer Reading Program: A Five-Year Study

Author(s): Liljequist, L., & Stone, S.

Citation: Liljequist, L., & Stone, S. (2009). Measuring the Success of a Summer Reading Program: A Five-Year Study. Journal of The First-Year Experience & Students in Transition, 21(2), 87-105.



Students were surveyed about a first-year summer reading program (SRP) at Murray State University, a regional, comprehensive university, for five consecutive years. Data are presented on how well the program met five stated goals: (a) providing a common academic experience for incoming first-year students, (b) introducing students to intellectual life at the university, (c) creating a greater sense of community, (d) emphasizing the value of reading, and (e) establishing the connection between reading and other cultural events on campus. Overall, students valued the SRP when they perceived the reading level of the book to be easier, (r = 0.11, p < .01) and when the book was shorter (r = 0.23, p < .0001). Further, they indicated valuing the experience more when the book was required reading in at least one of their classes (r = 0.13, p < .0001). Implications for future research and for SRPs at other institutions are presented.


View Publication   


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.