Nebraska Wesleyan Bridge Program (Summer Transition)

The summer transition program serves matriculating students of color in STEM fields the summer before they arrive on campus. It provides an opportunity for students to meet other students of color who will be with them on campus, and to become comfortable with the campus and community before school starts.

Program Background

In 2015 Nebraska Wesleyan released a Press Release describing the IINSPIRE program as it appears on their campus.

What it took to put together a summer bridge/transition program?:

Since this was our seventh transition program, we have learned a lot about what works and what doesn't. We have a debriefing at the end of each program and try to take into account what was said as we plan for the next program. It is also important to make sure to have activities that help to build community between the students, such as social activities and organized challenge courses. We also have them stay in the same dorm, which helps them to bond.

Major Program Elements


We start to brainstorm about what we want in our program in the late spring and early summer. On our campus, we also have to be personally involved in the recruitment of students. We get a list of students from admissions and then we make phone calls and send out emails. The summer program is supported by the work that happens on campus during the year. We have regular, ongoing programming, including monthly meetings with students that are open to other faculty and staff. We encourage faculty and administrators to participate in the ongoing IINSPIRE programming, including the annual Alliance conference.

Participation of people on campus

The IINSPIRE program at NE Wesleyan has generally succeeded in large part to the participation of various people across campus. This includes not only STEM faculty, but also student support services, library staff, admissions officers, administrators (e.g., Deans, Provost), and upperclassmen, who serve as mentors. Having a leadership team that has people from different areas of campus allows the program to address the various issues that students face. This includes academic, social, emotional, and psychological challenges that they may face over the course of the academic year. The leadership team is able to keep track of and share a holistic view of how students are doing in the program. They also meet with the provost regularly to share updates on program progress and ideas about what should happen next.

Campus awareness discussions

To continue to keep the campus aware of the IINSPIRE LSAMP program, faculty, staff, and administrators are periodically invited to hear about the program. Topics of discussion include:

  • Programming during the summer and academic year
  • The program accomplishments
  • Opportunity for faculty participation including mentoring
  • Community outreach (for example, K-12 outreach at Lincoln Public Schools)
  • How individuals can help


  • Upperclassmen serve as mentors to the incoming students
  • Faculty members can mentor students in their research areas

Example Program for a 4 day workshop