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Dominican University of California
Private Higher Education
Date Approved

Every college and university aims to equip students for success in their academic studies and in their work and service after graduation. Through the support of the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, Dominican University of California has expanded an innovative program—“the Dominican Experience”—that is helping all of its students, regardless of major, to enjoy greater success during and after college.

As part of the program, students are assigned “integrative coaches,” faculty who provide mentorship and guidance from enrollment through post-graduation. Students are also paired with peer mentors and, eventually, career mentors who will help them prepare effectively for professional and financial success after college.

In addition, all students work with their mentors to create digital portfolios. These portfolios enable students to showcase their efforts and accomplishments in professional and creative ways, which in turn helps them with applications for jobs and graduate schools.

As part of the project, Dominican produced a series of promotional videos, targeted primarily at potential incoming students. These engaging and informative videos serve as an introduction to each component of the Dominican Experience and to the program as a whole.

Mary Marcy, the president of Dominican, has received attention and recognition as a result of these and other innovations on her campus. In a recent interview about her 2020 book, Marcy discusses the various components of the Dominican Experience, as well as the improvements it has generated in student persistence and retention. She and others at Dominican are taking steps to help other schools learn from their work, so that other campuses can enjoy similar successes.