Focus group feedback about Premier Scholars program is featured in talk

Nov 05, 2013

Four North Central College students, faculty and administrative personnel gave a joint presentation at the Diversity & Inclusivity Teaching & Research Symposium held Oct. 12 at Indiana University Southeast in New Albany, Ind.

Nicole Rivera, visiting assistant professor of psychology; Dorothy Pleas, director of multicultural affairs; Marlena Martinez ’15, a psychology major; and Ana Rivera ’14, a sociology/community studies major and Spanish minor, presented a session titled, “Exploring the Impact of a Summer Bridge Program on the Development of Competence and Emotional Coping for Diverse Learners.” Martinez and Rivera were among the few undergraduate students to present at this conference.

Their presentation highlighted data from a focus group study that was completed with students who participated in North Central College’s 2012 Premier Scholars program. Premier Scholars is a summer bridge program for minority and first-generation students and is facilitated by the Office of Multicultural Affairs.

Data showed that participation in the program gave opportunities to learn about the college campus and to develop positive relationships with staff and peer mentors. Students commented on positive interactions with other students from diverse backgrounds. Data also provided insights regarding the development of feelings of competence and emotional coping.