LDRS Initiative

The Leadership Development, Reflection, and Service Initiative (LDRS) is a program for freshmen students who come from low-income families, are first generation college students, and/or students of color. Our goal is to ensure program participants have a smooth transition into Cardinal Stritch University and continued support throughout their first year. The LDRS Initiative provides a supportive community through linked courses and weekly community meetings where students have the opportunity to develop their financial, personal, academic, social, career, and leadership skills. This program is designed to provide a foundation for students’ continued college success leading to graduation and leadership in their communities.

​Membership Criteria

  1. You must demonstrate a genuine interest in developing leadership skills through reflection, service, and engagement.
  2. You must meet one or more of the following criteria:

Membership Requirements

  1. Attend Early Orientation
  2. Attend 80% of the Community Meetings for each fall and spring semester
  3. Take the LDRS SEM101 course in the fall and the Religion104 or Communications108 in the spring
  4. Maintain regular communication with the LDRS Program Coordinator
  5. Engage in service opportunities on campus and in the community
  6. Engage in meaningful and enriching activities on campus and in the community
  7. Attend the LDRS Retreat
  8. Attend the LDRS Dinner

Membership Benefits 

Early Move in
LDRS Students who choose to live on campus have the opportunity to move into their residence hall two days early.

Early Orientation
All LDRS Students participate in a one and a half day Early Orientation Program. The goal of Early Orientation is to assist new LDRS Students and their families with their transition to Cardinal Stritch University, to engage students in becoming contributing members of the campus community, and to launch new students on a meaningful educational journey.

Community Meetings
Members of the LDRS Initiative attend weekly Community Meetings where they enjoy a free meal, receive timely information about campus events and deadlines, and engage in comprehensive programming designed to support their success at and beyond Stritch.

Book Voucher
First year LDRS Students who fulfill all LDRS Membership Requirements and achieve a 2.5 GPA or higher receive a $150 book voucher. First year LDRS Students have the opportunity to earn a two $150 book vouchers, one for the fall semester and one for the spring semester.

Linked Courses
First year LDRS Students register for two Linked Courses, one in the fall and one in the spring. In the fall, LDRS Students learn about the fundamentals of leadership in their First Year Seminar Course SEM101. In the spring, LDRS Students have the option of taking Religion 104 or Communications 108 as their Linked Course. These Courses introduce students to the concepts and philosophies of leadership while exploring the relationship of self to service. These Linked Courses include shared assignments and interdisciplinary activities, including a service experience with instructors to apply their knowledge in real world settings. All of the Linked Courses fulfill students’ liberal arts core requirements.

At Cardinal Stritch University we deeply value service in our community. LDRS Students engage in service throughout the program, including service projects during New Student Orientation, their Linked Seminar Course, Stritch Service Day, and their LDRS Retreat.

LDRS Students have the opportunity to engage in meaningful and enriching activities both on campus and in the community. 

LDRS Retreat
At the end of their first year, LDRS Students go off campus for a weekend retreat. During the retreat students participate in team and confidence building activities and interactive workshops led by staff where they create personal mission statements and set goals for a successful college career.

LDRS Dinner
In the spring, LDRS Students attend a dinner to celebrate the year's accomplishments. 

Apply to the LDRS Initiative

* All fields are required unless otherwise noted:
Have you been admitted to Cardinal Stritch University?:

Have you applied for Financial Aid (FAFSA)? :

Do you need assistance in completing the Financial Aid process? :

This program is for incoming freshmen students. Will you be a freshmen at Cardinal Stritch University Fall 2019? :

Are you going to be on any Cardinal Stritch Athletic Teams?:

Please check all that apply:

A main goal of the LDRS Initiative is to assist first year students in their transition from high school to college. We do this by providing weekly programming to support the growth of students’ financial, personal, academic, social, and career management skills. Please rate your level of confidence in your financial, personal, academic, social, and career management skills. :
For example - Applying for financial aid (FAFSA), paying bills on time, filing taxes, and creating and managing a budget.:
For example - Setting goals, managing stress, personal health (sleeping, eating, and exercising), time management, and knowing your values and staying motivated. :
For example - Effective study habits, choosing a major, choosing classes, registering for classes, and talking with professors.:
For example - Conflict resolution and mediation, communication skills, understanding other people’s emotions (emotional intelligence), teamwork, negotiation and persuasion, building healthy relationships, and decision making and problem solving. :
For example - Writing a resume and cover letter, applying to jobs, internships, and graduate school, interviewing for jobs, and career discernment and management. :
For example - The ability to mobilize people towards a shared goal by understanding personal values, setting a good example, articulating a vision for the future, inspiring others, and creating a positive environment where people want to try their hardest and feel celebrated.: