Tori Negash

Sometimes college can feel like stepping into a foreign country, and for those who don’t have the financial vocabulary or parental precedent to help them navigate, it can be a daunting proposition.

To help, CUAA’s Academic Resource Center (ARC) has launched Destination Cardinal, a “summer bridge” program geared primarily toward first-generation or low-income students. Students will begin the program the summer before they officially start at CUAA in order to receive resources and support to ease the transition from high school to college.

“In some ways, it’s like giving students a head start so that they don’t arrive and immediately feel like they’re left in the dust,” says ARC Director Dr. Tori Negash. “Low-income and first-generation students have all sorts of obstacles stacked against them. Research and history tell us that they’re less likely to complete college as a result, and we want to give them every opportunity we can to succeed.”

In addition to serving certain at-risk groups, Destination Cardinal is also available to the CUAA student body at large, providing an easily accessible resource for students at all achievement levels. The ARC team launched the resource in September to provide extra support for students as they navigated their uncommon return to campus amidst COVID.

The program is accessible through an online portal and includes sections of information such as:

  • Online learning tips and tricks
  • Academic and career exploration
  • Personal growth, development, and well-being

Students can learn how to access the portal and learn more about the ARC services available to them at

— This story is written by Kali Thiel, director of university communications for Concordia University Ann Arbor and Wisconsin. She may be reached at or 262-243-2149.

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