The Take Flight Freshman program offers an array of activities designed to equip students with the skills needed to thrive at Catholic University. As a student in this program, you will meet with a member of the CCE staff during the summer months to make sure you have someone to answer questions and troubleshoot issues prior to arriving on campus. Furthermore, you will have the opportunity to participate in a 3-day pre-orientation program designed to help you gain important skills to thrive in college. Plus, you will be paired with a peer-mentor and be able to participate in a series of community building activities and socials throughout the academic year. To learn how to join Take Flight, contact Natali Maher ( 

Summer Meetings

Through the Take Flight summer meetings, you will be able to connect with a CCE staff member to address issues or concerns that might arise prior to your arrival on campus. We will share important information and remind you of important deadlines so that your transition to college will be as smooth as possible. 

Take Flight Pre-Orientation

Sunday, August 21 to Wednesday, August 24. - FREE
The Take Flight pre-orientation is a three-day intensive summer bridge program designed to enhance your learning, ease your transition to college, and help you build community. You will live on campus for the duration of the program at no cost. By participating in this three-day program you will:
  1. Gain important skills that will enhance your academic performance.  
  2. Understand what college life looks like, including becoming familiar with a typical class schedule, campus buildings, and tips for adjusting to campus life. 
  3. Develop a clear understanding and familiarity with important resources and services provided on campus; making connections with faculty, staff, and current Catholic University students. 
  4. Learn about extra-curricular activities and opportunities in which you can participate. 
  5. Build strong relationships with other first-generation college students and participate in off-site excursions. 
Topics include:
A Sense of BelongingThe Dean of Arts & Sciences, Seth Smith, will speak to the students about the trials and tribulations of his academic journey as well and how he developed a sense of belonging in academia. Learning and Thriving in a New Environment: This session will provide students with the tools to identify what kind of learner they are and how to tailor their study habits accordingly.
Keys to Academic SuccessThe art of writing papers will be broken down for students. Outlines for varying lengths of paper will be analyzed.

Creating Pathways for Smooth Transitions: Students will acknowledge transitions and imposter syndrome while becoming equipped to manage stressors, set realistic goals, and boost confidence in transition to collegiate life.

Reading for College: Students will gain insights and learn strategies to more effectively digest textbook information and to participate in classroom discussions with confidence and ease.  Developing a Support System on Campus: A conversation of reflection on positive support systems. Students will be given strategies to find and create their own support systems on campus to lead them to success both academically and developmentally.

Peer Mentoring 

A key to success is knowing seasoned students who can guide, support, and encourage you during your first year. As a part of this program, you are paired with a current junior or senior who will serve as your peer mentor to accompany you through the transition to college. This mentor is your personal guide that is more than willing to share their CUA insights and wisdom with you. 

The Center for Cultural Engagement offers a series of social, cultural, and educational opportunities where you can engage with your mentor and others in the program, helping you to build a community of peers invested in your success.

Skills-Building Workshops

Take Flight program hosts a series of workshops designed to introduce you to individuals and resources available to you on campus. These sessions will give you an opportunity to connect with peers, learn critical skills, and find a support system. Food is usually available.  

Community Building

Community building activities are designed to help you connect to our campus and to build a community of support with your peers. These activities include socials, trips to local sites, service projects, and more. Here is a taste of what to expect:

Cultural Day provides an opportunity for students to connect with peers, engage in meaningful conversations and celebrate the diversity present on our campus. 

National First-Gen College Celebration celebrates the success of first-generation college students, faculty, and staff. Take Flight hosts a luncheon that features student testimonies and community building activities. 

Martin Luther King Day of Service is an annual opportunity for Catholic University students, faculty, staff, alumni, and families to serve and advocate for justice as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. did during his life.