Presbyterian College Launches Inaugural Week-Long First-Generation Student Celebration

Stephanie Keene, M.A., Presbyterian College / The Center / January 20, 2021

Every year, countless first-generation college students face the daunting task of navigating college. Some have no familial support, some feel an overwhelming pressure to succeed, and some are clueless about college as a whole. Presbyterian College (PC) understands the complexities first-generation college students face and uses its Presby First+ program to create a safe, inclusive, and welcoming environment where first-gen students can connect with students like them, as well as gain knowledge of the resources PC has to offer. Upon matriculation, first-gen students are contacted by the Academic Success Office, which houses the Presby First+ program, to let students know full-time staff members are there to assist them and be their go-to person in helping them with their transition to college.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how PC can support its first-gen students, but it did not stop the college. This year, Presbyterian College hosted its inaugural Presby First+ Fest, a week-long celebration to honor and bring awareness to first-gen students. Presby First+ Fest hosted events such as a first-gen panel discussion, yoga session, and open mic night. Though events had to be socially distanced and masks were required at all times, the event allowed students to connect with other first-gens as well as provide a much needed escape from the stresses of college and the pandemic. However, this is not all PC has done to support its first-gen students. All first-gen students were offered free academic planners, had a welcome ice cream social, and were invited to various academic success workshops. Recently, a first-gen mentorship program was created. Starting in Fall 2021, current first-gen students will be mentors to incoming first-gen students.

The support from Presbyterian College, donors, trustees and the surrounding community has given Presby First+ the opportunity to serve and support first-gen students: past, present, and future.

For more information on Presbyterian College's approach, please visit their website here.