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This powerful program gives you the academic support you need to successfully make the transition from high school to college. It starts the summer before your first year and continues through your graduation and beyond.

Is the Transitions Program for you?

The Transitions Program is ideal for strongly motivated students who have the ability to succeed in college but do not meet all of the university’s traditional admission requirements. The program has an outstanding record of success. Students who participate in Transitions complete their first year of study at an even higher rate than the entering class as a whole. Transitions Program students make the Dean’s List and even enter the Honors Program. After graduating from Dominican, many Transitions students return to campus to serve as peer mentors to entering first-years. As a Transitions student, you will become part of a supportive community that nurtures your talents and empowers you to excel in college.

The Summer Bridge Program: Welcome to Dominican!

The Transitions Program begins with a strong, two-week academic experience in the summer before your first year. You’ll begin your academic work in three courses that are key to your academic, personal and professional success: mathematics; critical reading, writing and speaking; and first-year seminar, an innovative course that enables you to read, write and discuss some of life’s “big questions” in a small, supportive setting. You’ll earn academic credits that will give you a head start on your graduation requirements, and you’ll strengthen the academic skills that are essential for college success.


Berto Aguayo

Dominican Graduate

“Dominican has a special spirit. Everybody’s a go-getter. You never have to pretend to be something you aren’t, because you’re always working to be a better person than you are. This spirit made me proud to be a Dominican student.”

Summer Orientation and the Fall Academic Program

Alongside your fellow first-year students, you’ll participate in Summer Orientation Advising and Registration, universally known as SOAR. During SOAR, you’ll meet new friends, take placement exams, see your first-year academic advisor and register for your summer and fall classes. All Transitions students take a First-Year Seminar, which is taught by your academic advisor. The courses that you begin during the summer continue through the fall semester, for a total of 17 weeks of study. As a result, the summer program provides you with both a strong head start and ongoing academic support.

The Spring Academic Program and Beyond

Your academic advisor will guide you in choosing courses for the spring semester. You’ll also enjoy the full support of the director of the Transitions Program and of a peer LEADer. The
university’s Academic Success Center will provide you with tutoring in math and other demanding subjects in a way that’s tailored to your individual strengths and needs. You’ll
acquire a first-rate college education in partnership with faculty and fellow students whom you’ll come to know personally and grow to respect as trusted advisors and fellow learners.

Lauren R. O'Connor, PhD

Faculty Co-Director, Transitions Program

"The Dominican University Transitions program provides students with the tools and resources they need to be successful in their first year of college. The program helps students build meaningful connections, learn about themselves and their values, and envision their futures at DU and beyond."

A Special Way to Learn

The university’s motto, Caritas et Veritas, captures what it means to pursue a Dominican-inspired education and career. In English, the motto means “Love and Truth.” In action, it drives our community’s shared passion for:

  • Building a true community of learners
  • Sharing a variety of perspectives with mutual respect
  • Engaging in demanding academic work
  • Mentoring one another—intellectually, professionally and personally
  • Staying open to global perspectives and insights
  • Living with a concern for others and a commitment to justice

As a Dominican student, you will be challenged and supported each day to stay passionate about your academic, personal and professional pursuits—and to do your best to make the world a better place.