First Year Experience

Liftoff! Virtual Summer Connection Experience

Liftoff! is a unique 4-week program occurring virtually in July where incoming first year students have the opportunity to get all the insight they need to be ready for their experience at Western Illinois University! 

The virtual summer connection experience includes:

  • Completing University 100, a one-credit hour course focused on assisting your transition to Western Illinois University.
  • Developing connections with other students before the semester begins.
  • Familiarizing incoming Leathernecks with campus resources.
  • Connecting with upper-division students serving as Leatherneck Success Leaders who will be a resource throughout the first year experience. 

This limited enrollment program is designed for incoming first year students who are identified as being: 

  • Admitted into the WIU Reach Program
  • First-Generation College Students
  • Federal Pell-Grant eligible 

Preference will be given to students who are identified as meeting two or more of the above criteria. 

Click on the tabs below to learn more about the virtual summer connection experience.

Why Participate?

Get a head start on your college academic experience!

  • Take a college level course, University 100.
  • Learn about navigating WesternOnline.
  • Understand academic support resources and how to utilize.

Connect with other students!

  • Get to know other incoming students so you already know others before coming to campus.
  • Get to know faculty, staff, and others who will help you succeed!
  • Learn about involvement and engagement opportunities.

 

How to Register

Interested incoming first year students can register by completing the registration form found here

Students will be asked to complete a FAFSA for both the upcoming academic year, as well as the current academic year. Our Liftoff! team can assist connecting you with the Office of Financial Aid for any questions you may have.

Once you complete the registration form, our Liftoff! team will be in contact with you to confirm all needed information. Be sure to check your WIU email for information.

This limited enrollment program is designed for incoming first year students who are identified as being: 

  • Admitted into the WIU  Reach Program
  • First-Generation College Students
  • Federal Pell-Grant eligible 

Preference will be given to students who are identified as meeting two or more of the above criteria. 

There are two experience options, Tuesday/Thursday  from 10:00AM - 12:00PM and Tuesday/Wednesday from 2:00PM - 4:00PM

 

What to Expect

Students participating in the virtual summer connection program will be active for two hours a day, two days a week throughout the month of July. You will take University 100 and learn from your instructor and Leatherneck Success Leaders, as well as participate in small group activities and interactions to get to know resources and supports here at Western Illinois University.

The entire experience is virtual, so you can learn and interact through the comfort of your own home before starting the semester!  

There are two experience options, Tuesday/Thursday from 10:00AM - 12:00PM and Tuesday/Wednesday from 2:00PM - 4:00PM

 

Contact

If you have any questions about Liftoff! feel free to email retention@wiu.edu.

You may also touch base with anyone on our Liftoff! team.