University News

WIU to Offer Liftoff! Virtual Connection Experience for Incoming First Year Students

April 5, 2021

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MACOMB/MOLINE, IL -- Incoming first year students at Western Illinois University will have an opportunity to take part in a new experience this summer through the Liftoff! Virtual Connection Experience. Students selected will take part in a University 100 course during the four-week summer session in July.

According to Justin Schuch, executive director of Retention Initiatives, participating students will be connected to upper-division peer mentors and Leatherneck Success Leaders, learn about campus resources and develop foundational skills for college success.

"Upon completion, students will have connections to each other, campus resources and a larger network of people when they arrive on campus in August," Schuch explained. "This new program jumpstarts the Leatherneck experience like never before to ensure that our new students have a solid foundation for success."

Schuch added that the limited enrollment program is designed for incoming first year students who are identified as being admitted into the WIU Reach Program, considered first-generation college students and/or federal pell-grant eligible.

"The opportunity to experience a college-level course focused on preparing students for college success will set the tone for an outstanding first year experience," said Lori Baker-Sperry, professor and First Year Experience faculty associate. "Instructors for this specialized course are ready to help our students transition to WIU and start their academic experience with the tools necessary for success."

Incoming students can learn more about the experience and sign up at Early registration is encourages as there are limited slots available.

Posted By: WIU News (
Office of University Relations