Celebrating & Supporting First-gen Students at TTU!
Brandon Cruz M.Ed., Texas Tech University / The Center / January 29, 2020
Texas Tech University is proud to serve nearly 25% first-generation college students (FGCS). When considering our approach to the National First-Generation College Celebration head on November 8, the Division of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion was eager to develop a week-long program that included First Generation Students, Staff, & Faculty engagement. This included bringing in university partners from across campus to support the effort.
Priorities for TTU’s inaugural week-long celebration included:
First Generation and First Generation Champion Pledge Cards – Faculty and staff were able to pledge their support for first-generation students and commit to displaying the pledge card within their office space in order to create visibility in an otherwise hidden population of students.
Service Learning – With Veterans Day near TTU First Gen Week, Military & Veteran Programs sponsored an activity, allowing students to write letters of gratitude and support for veterans in order to thank them for their service.
Navigating Financial Aid – It goes without saying that the financial aid process within higher education can be, at times, overwhelming. Students were able to attend a Financial Aid FAFSA/TAFSA Night hosted by University Student Housing and facilitated by representatives from Student Financial Aid & Scholarships.
Conversations with the Next Generation – This program invited first-generation TTU faculty and staff to share their success story with the "Next Generation" of first-generation students. This included the journey leading up to higher education, influences, challenges and opportunities. This program featured our Associate Vice President & Chief of Staff within the Office of the President, Grace Hernandez.
THANK YOU to all the partners that came together to make TTU’s inaugural First Gen Week a reality. It truly takes a community to put these experiences together. Internal partners included: First Generation Transition & Mentoring Programs, McNair Scholars Program, Mentor Tech, Military & Veteran Programs, Student Financial Aid & Scholarships, TRIO Student Support Services, Office of the President, and University Student Housing.
THANK YOU also to the Center for First-generation Student Success, NASPA and the Council for Opportunity in Education. Your support motivates TTU to continue finding ways to education, engage with, and empower first-generation college students. We look forward to brainstorming new and innovative ways for National First-Generation College Celebration 2020!