F1rst2Go - Oklahoma State University's First-generation Support Network
LeAnne Hutchins, Cassandra Cotton, Oklahoma State University / The Center / February 01, 2023
The F1rst2Go (F2G) Program operates during the school year and is a peer mentorship opportunity that connects first-generation college freshmen to an extensive support network at Oklahoma State University (OSU). F1rst2Go Leaders (F2GL) offer guidance and insight to students throughout their transition while promoting connection within the small group setting. Students can engage in student development and networking opportunities; learn about resources; interact with faculty, staff, and peers through social events; and develop the skills needed to be successful at OSU. F2G promotes financial literacy, campus connection, and academic success through a set of program requirements that are established to help students navigate their first year.
“F1rst2Go allowed me to transition to college smoothly and provided me an instant group to be with. I realized I wasn’t alone on this big campus and my small group leader helped me with resources when I didn’t know where to turn.” – Michael, OSU Student
2011-2015 – Staff/faculty mentor program. Following staffing changes, the mentor program did not continue as a stand-alone mentor program and first-generation students were served through other mentoring programs across campus.
2019 – Re-established with a shift to peer-mentorship through small group and one-on-one opportunities rather than relying solely on faculty and staff mentors.
• Each small group of 7-12 students is led by a first-generation, upper classman who successfully completed their first, second, and/or third year
• Groups meet bi-weekly to discuss strategies for emerging and continued success, campus resources, and ways to support each other.
2022 – accepted 198 first-time, full-time first-generation students
• 24 small groups - with 10-12 F1rst2Go students each
o Helping to ensure that students find common ground and create solid peer relationships by academic college and interest
• Programming focuses on the three pillars that lead to a successful college experience: finances, academics, and engagement.
o Students are introduced to campus resources, are encouraged to set, and work towards goals
o $500 scholarship, split between two semesters upon completion of participant requirements
“Working with my Campus Connection Coach and Financial Planning Coach helped me get involved on campus and learn how to better understand my college budget. I was able to help my parents understand the FAFSA.” - Lauren, OSU Student
Future Plans –
• F1rst2Go Members Reunion - allow current participants in the program to see what they can achieve and the impact that F1rst2Go can have.
• Study abroad opportunity for students.
• Reemergence of the First-gen student organization
• Collaborating with the First-gen Forward Committee
o First-gen Forward Committee will focus on raising awareness and visibility for first-gen students on campus, develop a campus wide support system, and contribute to OSU’s mission to increase retention and persistence to graduation.
• Transition F1rst2Go into a Living Learning Program
F1rst2Go Data –
• 14 of 23 F1rst2Go Leaders were involved with the F1rst2Go program during their freshman year
• Average overall GPA for all participants: 3.087
• Average overall GPA for females: 3.11
• Average overall GPA for males: 3.00
• Average overall GPA for non-binary: 3.45