DGS Enrichment Experience Program
The DGS Enrichment Experience Program is an intensive support program for undeclared undergraduates who are exploring academic majors and career opportunities at Illinois. Participants benefit from a variety of curricular and co-curricular opportunities that position them well for success at Illinois and for transition into their major of choosing.
As participants select classes and prepare for entry into an intended major, they work closely with the Enrichment Experience advising team who provide guidance and support during their time in DGS.
Participants are matched with an Office of Minority Student Affairs (OMSA) mentor who works specifically with undeclared students on-site in the Division of General Studies. Mentors encourage personal growth and campus involvement and serve as an additional sounding board as students acclimate to life on campus. The OMSA mentor is an invaluable complement to the services provided by DGS Academic Advising.
At summer registration, the Enrichment Experience advising team assists participants with registering for an Enrichment Experience section of GS 101, the required first-year experience course for all DGS students, where they have the chance to be in a classroom setting together with their peers. The curriculum for this section will include traditional components of the DGS first-year experience course but will also offer opportunities for participants to strengthen their relationship with their OMSA mentor and connect with other academic services provided by OMSA.
Participants have access to Enrichment Experience sections of select classes so they may complete requirements and learn about topics of interest together with students from similar backgrounds. In the fall, there are Enrichment Experience discussion sections for popular Math and Chemistry courses. In the spring, additional course offerings will cover topics such as leadership and career preparation.
Participants have opportunities to engage in exploratory activities specifically geared to the Enrichment Experience cohort. This includes exclusive networking events with the College of Engineering and College of Business, and more.
"DGS has honestly shaped me for my future at Illinois, the endless opportunities given to me is more than I could imagine. I'm very thankful for being in DGS."
"OMSA tutoring and mentoring programs are the best services on campus for students because they make you feel at home. As a first year student I was afraid that I would find myself lost in the college experience where OMSA helped me see my way through."
"The most helpful support I received from DGS would be talking about all the options I had not just for classes but other school activities with my advisor. Being informed about all UIUC has to offer, helped me feel less alone and less lost."
"My experience in DGS has been great so far. I am glad that I came into college as a freshman with a undeclared major because I got the opportunity to explore many different aspects of different majors on this campus. With the help of many great advisors and mentors in DGS I finally knew what I wanted to major in."
"The most helpful support that I received from DGS during my transition to Illinois is meetings with advisors. Having someone actually listen to you is always helpful. However, DGS advisors do not just listen to you. They understand you and try to connect with you. Always having a connection with an advisor and being able to seek guidance when needed will always and forever be helpful."
"The mandatory GS class is great because it forces us to learn about everything that's available for us to be successful."
"I appreciate the DGS office. I am thankful for our mentors and friends there. Even though I am not in a specific college at the moment; being in DGS, I feel like a part of the school. I do not feel excluded from UIUC because of DGS."
"The most helpful support I received was from my GS 101 class. I gained knowledge in that class that I otherwise would not have at all. My advisors played a big role in helping my transition. I am still learning, to be honest but, DGS has helped a ton overall in my transition."
"DGS has been a wonderful source to turn to for any kind of academic and non-academic endeavor. They provide all the tools and support I need in order to succeed."
"The most helpful support I received were the tips and suggestions from advisors and mentors in DGS. Using the information they gave me helped me transition into Illinois and be as successful as I can be."
Undergraduate students who are Illinois residents are selected for participation in the DGS Enrichment Experience based on academic factors as well as meeting any of the following criteria:
- Qualifying for the Educational Opportunities Program (EOP) - typically students who are first generation college students or are members of groups that are disadvantaged either socially or economically.
- Identifying as an individual from a racial (African American, Native American) or ethnic (Hispanic) group underrepresented at Illinois.
- Earning a diploma from a high school from which very few graduates enroll at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.