#AdvocateFirstgen by Improving Higher Ed Access for First-gen Students

The Center / November 07, 2023

Two female students working on a robot in STEM lab

Our first issue brief outlines several programs that are crucial for students’ success, institutions’ bottom lines, ongoing research and development, and economic growth. Through this new resource, we offer our partners a resource to build upon in their advocacy efforts. 

With the launch of our first issue brief, “Improving Access to Higher Education for First-generation College Students,” the Center for First-generation Student Success expands our efforts to #AdvocateFirstgen. Our issue briefs overview a specific topic; share supporting information or resources relevant to the issue; and outline recommendations for action as they relate to first-generation college student success. 

Generally, issue briefs provide their intended audience with a foundation for understanding an issue and encourage them to want to learn more. They highlight key points while allowing individuals to share personal narratives or additional details to augment the presented facts. The Center’s first issue brief outlines several access points to higher education on which supporters can build arguments to #AdvocateFirstgen.

This issue brief also recommends actions for advocates interested in improving access to higher education for first-generation students. These proposals are a starting point for outreach to various stakeholders who can advance first-generation student success. Given the Center’s national reach, we reference federal programs. Using this issue brief as a guide, advocates can conduct a deeper dive into their own states’ policies, programs, and initiatives to curate tailored facts and recommended actions.

The Center’s first issue brief outlines several access points to higher education on which supporters can build arguments to #AdvocateFirstgen.

In the context of a first-generation student’s educational journey, the Center has focused our efforts on success once students arrive at higher education institutions. Through initiatives and programming that support a broad constituency of higher education professionals, the Center aims to enhance the research, scholarship, and effective practice supporting first-generation student success and to expand the number of institutions with evidence-based programs. 

We recognize that access to higher education remains a critical step for first-generation students, and enrolling and retaining students is critical for everything from an institution's economic health to a robust student experience. Highlighting options for first-generation students to engage in acquiring knowledge and skills beyond high school is an important starting point in the conversation about first-generation student success. 

The Center will release additional issue briefs in November and December. Others will follow periodically as requested and/or warranted by prevailing circumstances in the higher education sector. Through these new resources, we aim to strengthen both the Center’s and our stakeholders’ capacity to #AdvocateFirstgen.

On which first-gen issues would you like us to publish future advocacy resources?
Let us know on social media with #AdvocateFirstgen!