Center Strategic Priorities

The Center / August 01, 2018

Center Logo


The Center has identified four strategic priority themes: Connect & Recognize; Knowledge Creation & Evidence-based Practices; Innovation & Scalable Approaches; and Thought Leadership & Advocacy.  Across each theme are goals and objectives.  The Center Strategic Priorities are critical to driving higher education innovation and advocacy for first-generation student success.


Connect Multi Black

Connect & Recognize


Build engaged communities across higher education that foster, recognize, and celebrate excellence in serving first-generation student success.


  • Peer Networks: Create networks that facilitate the sharing of knowledge, strategies, and resources advancing first-generation student initiatives.
  • Recognition: Develop a platform to identify and recognize higher education institutions who demonstrate commitment to improving first-generation outcomes.

Knowledge Multi Green

Knowledge Creation & Evidence-based Practices


Develop and promote scholarly research and data-informed practice as the primary clearinghouse for post-secondary education to advance first-generation student persistence and completion.


  • Original Research: Create a research agenda that positions the Center as a leading contributor to the scholarly knowledge base and practical understanding of first-generation student success.
  • Advancing the Knowledge Base: Foster peer-reviewed scholarly literature and data-informed reports and provide a centralized repository for those seeking knowledge across post-secondary education.

Scalable Approaches Blue

First Scholars Network


Engage the First Scholars Network to create innovative approaches, drive evidence-based solutions, and provide professional development to advance systemic, scalable impact in improving first-generation student success.


  • Signature Programs: Advance First Scholars Network signature programs and services that provide and scale the support of first-generation student success at IHEs.
  • Innovative support: Develop new programs and services that create and expand the support of first-generation student success at institutions of higher education.

Thought Leadership Orange

Thought Leadership & Advocacy


Be a catalyst and thought leader for advancing critical first-generation student success conversations through national convenings, advocacy, and policy influence.


  • Thought Leadership: Promote opportunities to convene leaders across the higher education sector with the intent of solving complex issues and advancing systemic change for the first-generation student experience.
  • Awareness: Advance the first-generation student success agenda in public spheres, both mainstream and across higher education.
  • Advocacy: Lead advocacy and public policy efforts to transform the landscape around first-generation student success.