Wartburg College Bridging Program (PreOrientation Program)

The goals of the program are to create a community of incoming American-Ethnic students in the STEM fields and to introduce these students to our peer mentors and science faculty members and various other programs and offices that will serve as resources while they are on campus. Students arrive on campus before the other new student orientation students and participate in three days of programming structured to allow them to 1) get to know each other and members of the campus community,particularly STEM faculty 2) become familiar with campus and their own schedule and 3) explore their interest in STEM in the shorter and longer-term. Participation in this program is free of charge and participants receive a modest stipend for books in the fall semester

Program Background

The IINSPIRE Program at Wartburg is well-described on the Wartburg website for Diversity and Inclusion

Major Program Elements

Career Exploration

Students are given a facilitated opportunity to research a specific STEM career that they are interested in. This includes not only what people in this job do, but also what contributions these types of jobs have contributed to science and society and also what skills and experiences are needed to pursue these careers. Students share their finding and are able to hear about several different interesting STEM options.

Campus familiarity and community

Students work together to learn their way around campus and find the location of their specific classes. This gives them a chance to become comfortable on the campus before the other students return and they are then the 'experts' among the new students about where things are when classes begin. Students also participate in a structure 'speed dating' dinner event with faculty members. They are given prompts for things to talk about with the faculty they may later see on campus. See example materials for these activities below.

Other support through the IINSPIRE program

The PreOrientation program is supported by ongoing events and support students have access to throughout the school year. These include:

  • Mentoring programs with peers, faculty, and alumni
  • Career building workshops
  • Research opportunities
  • Study groups for common classes
  • Social events
  • Study skill workshops

Student participants may be asked to apply to be an IINSPIRE mentor in their college years after the program.

Example materials from the 2017 program

Example Schedules

Activity Sheets