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A Fire-Starting First-Generation Council

Marsita L. Ferguson, Baldwin Wallace University / The Center / December 06, 2023

Baldwin Wallace University First-gen Logo & Buttons


Here at Baldwin Wallace University, the students of the First-Generation Advisory Council are at the forefront of creating sustainable support pipelines and ensuring educational opportunities. Our three committees (resource development, communication, and data analytics) were designed to create equity platforms, community connections, education on institutional resources, financial literacy, and many other programing opportunities. Our council is comprised of students (undergraduate and graduate), faculty, and staff, dedicated to ensuring every First-Generation student finds success at Baldwin Wallace. Below you will find a list of our current and upcoming programs led by our engaged and socially innovative First-Generation Advisory Council.

Baldwin Wallace student with grad cap
First-Gen First Fridays

A networking campaign, First-Gen First Fridays are an opportunity to spotlight team members, attend social events, hold affinity spaces, and find where you belong.

First-Generation partnership with a Service-Learning Course

Fall 2024, our data analytics team partnered with a qualitative research service-learning course to produce a Photovoice project that identified points of improvement including food insecurity, affinity space on campus, and education on institutional resources such as scholarships.

First-Generation College Celebration Day

November 8th is the National Celebration Day for First-Generation Student Success. We celebrate with student-led workshops and activities, access to free food, household items and school supplies, information on institutional resources, and an opportunity to network with campus administrators and other first-generation students.

First-Generation Retreat
Baldwin Wallace First-gen Logo

Spring semesters at Baldwin Wallace University are home to a Saturday retreat for first-generation students and alums. Students engage in activities led by TRIO Upward Bound, hold affinity space, and have lunch with the Vice President of Student Affairs.

First-Generation Desich Scholarship

The Desich scholarship fund supports Baldwin Wallace students engaged in community service through the David & Frances Brain Center. Four $2500 renewable scholarships are dedicated to first-generation students committed to service here in the greater Cleveland community.

What’s next for our council? Well, our First-Generation Advisory Council is trailblazing the way for support and belonging on campus...

First-Generation Alternative Breaks
Baldwin Wallace first-gen graduates in sweaters

Taking place during academic breaks, an alternative break is a trip where a group of students (usually 10–12 per trip) engage in volunteer service, typically for a week. This summer our First-Generation Advisory Council will lead its first trip dedicated to a co-curricular experience designed for them. This trip will include education and service dedicated to civil rights.

First-Generation Living Learning Community

Bringing academics, programming and belonging into the residence halls, living learning communities placing students with a common interest together on a floor or residence hall section. Baldwin Wallace is currently working to build a living learning community for first-generation students that will provide the students with academic and financial supports.

Baldwin Wallace is dedicated to the success, growth, and development of first-generation students on our campus, from our many events designed to facilitate leadership and confidence, to a student-led approach. We want all students to know BW is where you belong

For more information on Baldwin Wallace University's approach, please visit their website here.