Dominican University’s bridge program, Transitions, gives students academic support as they make the transition from high school into college. The program helps prepare students for a successful first year of college and provides ongoing academic support to help students stay on course through graduation. The ESTRELLAS Peer Mentoring Program, sponsored by Associated Colleges of Illinois (ACI), is a one-year program designed to assist incoming students who are part of Dominican’s Transitions Program.

In choosing candidates for this program, Dominican looks for students who are strongly motivated and have the potential to succeed in college though they may not meet all of the university’s traditional admission requirements. Students who participate in Transitions consistently report high rates of academic success. In recent academic years, students who entered Dominican through the Transitions Program continued on to complete their first-year at a higher rate than that of the first-year class overall—including some who made the Dean’s List.

Here are some additional highlights of the program:
  • Transitions is traditionally a two-week residential program that gives students a head start on the English, Math and First-Year Seminar classes that they will be taking in the fall.
  • Transitions is not an extra session of separate summer classes—instead, students and professors simply begin those specific classes two weeks early, and then continue together through the fall semester.
  • There is no extra tuition (or any other cost) charged to students in the Transitions program. Students actually receive a stipend for participation. 
  • During the summer, and continuing through the fall and spring, Transitions students receive dedicated advising, tutoring, and mentoring support—also at no extra charge.

If there are any questions about the Transitions Program, please contact your Admission Counselor or reach out to Mark Carbonara ( or Dr. Leticia Villarreal-Sosa (, Transitions Program Co-Directors.