Dorothy Pleas, North Central College director of multicultural affairs, and Nicole Rivera, visiting assistant professor of psychology, presented a session titled, “Strengthening the First-Year Experience Through a Summer Bridge Program for At-Risk Students,” at the Midwest First-Year Conference at Northern Illinois University on Sept. 28.
Their presentation focused on North Central’s Premier Scholars program, which offers a summer bridge program for in-coming students at the College. Pleas provided an overview of the program and discussed program updates. Rivera spoke about an interview study that was conducted with program participants and traced their experience across their first year at North Central College, exploring their transitions and integration into the campus community.
Started in 2008, the regional conference brings together more than 250 participants from six states, 28 four-year universities and colleges, and 29 community colleges. The one-day conference provides a forum for academic and student affairs professionals to share ideas, resources and engaging pedagogy to enhance their instruction of first-year students and learn about programs that address reasons students leave their institutions during or after the first year.
Pleas (photo, left) joined North Central College’s administrative staff in 2010 and earned her B.S. from Vanderbilt University and an M.S. from Southwestern College.
Rivera (right) is an educational psychologist and has been teaching at North Central for four years. She received a B.M. from Illinois State University and an M.S.Ed. and Ed.D. from Northern Illinois University.