The WISE Program

Stetson University’s Woke Independent Student Empowerment Program promotes students’ success and persistence toward graduation through strengths-based leadership development and mentorship. It is an opportunity for first-year students of color or those who may identify as underrepresented, marginalized, and/or under-resourced, to be plugged into the Hatter community. Participants will have the opportunity to be mentored by current students. In addition to a mentoring experience, students will have an opportunity to dialogue and explore issues of difference, acceptance, and intercultural learning. For more information, please contact Ruby Moran at [email protected].


The mission of WISE is to foster encouragement and support for full-time first-year students of color, including Black/African Americans, Chicanx/Hispanic/Latinx, Asian/Asian Americans, Native Americans, Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders, and Multi-Ethnic, or those who may identify as underrepresented, marginalized, and/or under-resourced. WISE explores the diversity of student experiences at Stetson University, with emphasis on the experiences of students of color and on issues related to cultural leadership. Students will be empowered through peer-to-peer mentoring and engagement with sophomores, juniors and seniors in their first year, enabling them to persist in their college experience through to graduation from Stetson University.

Anticipated Outcomes for WISE Participants

First Year Impact

  • First-to-second semester persistence
  • Connection to Stetson (peer-to-peer; major, faculty, staff and alumni) 
  • Acclimation to the campus culture
  • Resourcefulness
  • Increased self-efficacy
  • Satisfactory academic achievement

Second-Year to Graduation Impact

  • Increased first-to-second year retention
  • Good academic and social engagement and progress
  • Continued persistence

Post-Graduation Impact

  • Increased number of students of color with a Stetson degree
  • A diverse network of alumni and donors 
  • Impact on the national number of students of color with a bachelor’s degree