First-Gen Students

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Are you the first in your family to go to college?  Perhaps even the first in your community?  Being a “First-Gen” student is a distinction which often offers a sense of pride but also comes with unique challenges that are not always anticipated.  Many First-Gen students find themselves as “outliers” in their families and communities.  Their commitment to their educational goals can often conflict with family and community obligations.  Often First-Gen students are more non-traditional in that they are not your typical student right out of high school.  Many First-Gens are parents with full-time jobs, veterans and other military personnel with service obligations.  Some of our First-Gen students may be coming to college for the first time after decades which can be a tremendous challenge.

On the positive side, First-Gen students can be a source of pride within a family and community.  Often churches, schools, businesses, and community leaders rally behind First-Gen students and even offer avenues of support to help you towards your educational goals.  Finally, First-Gen students can serve as the launching pad for others in the family who may be motivated to follow in the footsteps of that “first in the family” to go off to college.  The Office of Diversity and Inclusion offers programs designed to help First-Gen students better navigate through the challenges presented and to garner the support of their families and communities.

Thursday, September 27th • 11:30 AM
The First-Gen Experience
Rochelle Center (Lunch provided)

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion welcomes Dr. Frank E. Dobson, Jr., to our campus to discuss his experience as a First-Gen student.  Dr. Dobson encountered numerous challenges inside and outside the classroom.  However, his resilience propelled him to the top of his field as Associate Dean of Students for Social Justice and Identity at Vanderbilt University.  Dr. Dobson is also an English professor, Vanderbilt Faculty Head of House, and a noted author.  This will be the first of a series of programs focusing on the First-Gen experience.  Please join us for our first program and the continuing series as we interrogate the First-Gen experience.