Students Together Reaching for Individual Development and Education (STRIDE)

STRIDE is a program that provides direct support to first-year and transfer students of color so that they can not only successfully complete their first academic year of college but ultimately thrive towards successful graduation from Davidson College.

Through inclusive dialogues, events and relationship building with Davidson students, staff and faculty, this program attempts to minimize institutional challenges students of color may have at a predominantly white college. STRIDE is historically beneficial to students of color who may also identify as first-generation and/or hold undocumented immigration status.

Specifically, STRIDE offers student-led events and connects incoming students to resources to successfully navigate academic and campus life. There are two distinct yet related components of the STRIDE Program: the Pre-Orientation Experience and the Academic Year Peer Leadership Experience. While STRIDE is designed to support students of color, any student is eligible to apply to participate.


Registration for Fall 2023 STRIDE Pre-Orientation is Closed

STRIDE Pre-Orientation for Fall 2023 will be held in person and will take place on campus Monday, August 21 through Wednesday, August 23. Students who successfully sign up for the program will get written permission to move into their Fall housing assignments.

STRIDE Pre-Orientation Experience

First-year students of color are invited to register for the STRIDE Pre-Orientation Experience which takes place before New Student Orientation. The Pre-Orientation Experience strives to be an inclusive opportunity for first-year and transfer students of color and their families to build relationships with Davidson College students, faculty and staff while also engaging with vital campus resources that will support their transition to college. 

The STRIDE Pre-Orientation Experience, facilitated by the STRIDE Director and Davidson College alumni, allows students to participate in experiential activities and dialogues to help them establish a foundation towards academic and social success on campus. Students are assigned to small group cohorts lead by student peer leaders that offer them direct support and encouragement throughout the retreat.

Sample activities include:

  • Meet the College President and Deans
  • Making Connections: Small and Large Group Team Builders
  • Faculty of Color Panel
  • Academic Success Tips and Resources
  • Navigating Stress Triggers and Self-Care
  • Exploring Student Organizations at Davidson
  • Real Talk: Navigating Campus as a Student of Color
  • Movie Night, Game Night and Craft Night
While the program is offered at no additional cost to students, registration is required and space is limited.

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Academic Year STRIDE Peer Leadership Experience

Recognizing new students may need support beyond New Student Orientation, STRIDE also provides an academic year peer leadership experience. After completing a questionnaire at the beginning of the semester, new students are placed into small group cohorts. Cohorts are based on shared interests (i.e. academic majors, wellness activities, social identities, etc.) and led by student peer leaders who are sophomores, juniors or seniors. Students meet with cohort members and their peer leader at a social event and have an opportunity to learn about other cohort groups. While cohorts are meant to be sustained groups throughout the academic year, peer leaders are encouraged to collaborate with other peer leaders to build relationships across cohorts.

The fall semester begins with a weekly seminar in September to build academic success skills and introduce students to co-curricular opportunities on campus. Between October and April, peer leaders host large and small group events that range from faculty dialogues, campus resource conversations, community building opportunities, exploration of the Charlotte area and dialogue on current issues impacting first-year students. The spring semester includes a mid-year event to reunite the group and check in about successes and setbacks. The year concludes with an informal recognition event to celebrate the completion of the first-year and to thank peer leaders for their efforts.

Participants of the STRIDE Pre-Orientation Experience have an opportunity to join in the Academic Year STRIDE Peer Leadership Experience at the conclusion of Pre-Orientation. Students who did not participate in STRIDE Pre-Orientation Experience may join the Academic Year STRIDE Peer Leadership Experience pending space availability. Registration for this program will be announced in after STRIDE Pre-Orientation Experience. 

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Spotlight on STRIDE: Genesis Bernadin ’23

“Getting involved with STRIDE was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’ve made so many genuine, lifetime friendships, and it opened so many opportunities. I’ve met professors who suggested what turned out to be some of my favorite courses and met some wonderful human beings on staff who’ve been so kind to me. It’s been great.”

—Genesis Bernadin '23

Learn more about Bernadin's STRIDE experience

Q: How would you describe your experience with the STRIDE program?
Q: What advice would you give to students of color who are new to Davidson College?


We look forward to helping you learn more about STRIDE and other peer support opportunities at Davidson. For more information, email

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