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Retention Initiatives


STRIDE participants group
Past STRIDE participants gather at the Spencer-Weinstein Center for Community and Justice.

Students Together Reaching for Individual Development and Education (STRIDE) is a peer-mentoring program designed to support first-year students of color with their adjustment to Davidson College. STRIDE offers academic, cultural, and social support as well as vital but sometimes "invisible" information about successfully navigating academic and social spaces and resources on campus. The program creates safe spaces for students from historically underrepresented backgrounds to talk openly with peers, peer mentors, staff members, and faculty members about the material and emotional challenges they face or may face as cultural and/or stigmatized minority groups.

Pre-college enrichment is a critical part of the STRIDE initiative. It takes place for three days just before the college's general orientation and pairs students with upperclass peer mentors. As a result, STRIDE participants begin the semester with an established peer group and a cultural foundation for academic and social success. The program is offered at no additional costs to students. Students who register for STRIDE move into their assigned residence hall at the start of pre-college enrichment and family members are welcome to attend a private question and answer session with senior administrators, the STRIDE directors, and affiliated professors.

Peer mentors assist in the facilitation of the pre-college enrichment program and serve as a resource for first year students throughout the academic year. Mentors are paired with their mentees using the registration information that STRIDE applicants provide.

You do not have to participate in the STRIDE pre-college enrichment to become involved with STRIDE. The fall semester includes a Sunday seminar, the spring semester includes a mid-year retreat to evaluate achievements and setbacks, and every month STRIDE mentors and mentees are invited to participate in academic, service, cultural or social activities to stay connected as a community.

Posse Foundation

color photo of Posse students in Davidson shirts with President Quillen
Inaugural Davidson Posse Miami Scholars with President Quillen.

As a proud partner college of the Posse Foundation, Davidson selects 10 students (out of 1,000+ applicants), through a collaborative and dynamic assessment process, from the greater Miami-Dade area to take part in the organization's STEM Program. The Posse Foundation recruits, trains, and supports Posse Scholars interested in majoring in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The Posse STEM Program, which includes six additional institutions that recruit Posses from other cities, offers scholars traditional Posse programming plus a two-week summer immersion program, a STEM faculty mentor, and research and internship opportunities in STEM fields.

First Scholars

First generation college students are invited to participate in First Scholars, an early orientation and peer mentoring program designed to assist first generation college students and their families learn about the formal and informal ropes of socially and academically adjusting to Davidson College. Students and family members will have the opportunity to speak with current students, faculty, staff and administrators about the challenges and opportunities of attending a selective, private, liberal arts college. Students unable to attend the early orientation are strongly encouraged to connect with the First Scholars support team by contacting the Dean of Students Office or the Center for Teaching and Learning.