The 2019 NASPA First-generation Student Success Conference will convene scholars and practitioners in beautiful Orlando, Florida to discuss how higher education professionals across the academy can develop effective approaches to support and improve the outcomes of first-generation college students.

This conference will be co-located with three other events, the Assessment, Persistence, and Data Analytics Conference, the Closing the Achievement Gap Conference, and the Student Financial Wellness Conference to comprise the inaugural 2019 NASPA Conferences on Student Success in Higher Education. This gathering will provide those committed to student success from across the institution with dynamic keynotes, thought-provoking workshops, and engaging networking opportunities using a cross-functional approach to student success. The convergence of four unique conferences will create a space for attendees to share ideas, strategies, and evidence-based research on strategies to dismantle barriers related to student success.

About the First-generation Student Success Conference

The 2019 NASPA First-generation Student Success Conference will examine a breadth of topics critical to advancing the holistic outcomes of first-generation students. The conference program will consider the vast intersectionality of first-generation students, the systemic and institutional barriers to success, evidence-based practices and approaches to student support and services, the role of assessment and evaluation, opportunities to build celebratory campus environments, and strategies for building networked campus approaches to scaling support. Participants will have an opportunity to learn more about the Center for First-generation Student Success while engaging with, scholars, and advocates in multiple presentation formats, research discussions, and networking events.

As a registered First-generation Student Success Conference attendee, you have access to attend offerings for any of the four conferences through one registration fee. With a diverse offering of dynamic keynotes, thought-provoking workshops, and engaging networking opportunities, the 2019 NASPA Conferences on Student Success in Higher Education is your opportunity to take a cross-functional approach to student success. For more information, click here.

  • Understand the lived experiences and vast intersectionality of first-generation college students across academic years, institutional types, and sectors.

  • Discuss systemic and institutional barriers first-generation students face in higher education and identify strategies for advancing change.

  • Identify and utilize strategies for supporting first-generation students and bridging gaps in cultural capital through asset-based programmatic approaches, services, and skill building.

  • Discuss and implement approaches for creating an engaged campus community that identifies, supports, and celebrates first-generation college students.

  • Recognize and engage with scholarly literature and current research critical to understanding and advancing first-generation student outcomes.

  • Consider evaluation, assessment, and data strategies for understanding and improving institutional and programmatic first-generation initiatives.

Keynote Speaker

The First-generation Student Success Conference Committee is excited to announce that Dr. Rebecca Covarrubias, Assistant Professor of Psychology and Faculty Director of the Student Success Equity Research Center at UC Santa Cruz, will serve as the conference keynote speaker.


Rebecca Covarrubias Headshot
Dr. Covarrubias is a social and cultural psychologist, she examines the importance of reflecting the cultural strengths and practices of students from diverse backgrounds in educational settings as a way to foster inclusion and equity. A first-generation faculty member, she co-launched UC Santa Cruz’s First Generation Initiative to foster a sense of community among first-generation students, staff, and faculty. For her research, teaching and community-engagement, Dr. Covarrubias was awarded a 2018 UC Santa Cruz Chancellor’s Achievement Award for Diversity, the 2018 Society for Research in Child Development Latino Caucus Early Career Award, and the 2017 Society of Psychological Study of Social Issues Michele Alexander Early Career Award.

With her team of student researchers in the Culture and Achievement Collaborative, she works to translate these findings into actionable practices that can shift the culture of institutions and can help students thrive.

Call for Programs

The 2019 NASPA First-generation Student Success Conference committee seeks proposals that effectively advance the understanding of holistic success and improved outcomes specific to first-generation college students across all institutional types and sectors. Presenters will be asked to identify the content level of their session; foundational, intermediate, or advanced. Additionally, the content advisory committee will select programs based upon their relationship to the Conference's learning outcomes.

Calls for Programs is Closed

The program proposal review process is underway. We welcome you to consider serving as an on-site volunteer during the 2019 NASPA First-generation Student Success Conference. 

Click here to volunteer on-site


The schedule was designed to provide participants with interactive and engaging programming, opportunities for deeper discussion, and networking. For a printable schedule at a glance, click the button below.

Click here for the schedule

The schedule is subject to minor changes.

Pre-Conference Programs & Events

National Resource Center Logo

Co-sponsored by the National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition


Increasing the Institutional Sustainability of Your First-generation Student Program

Sunday, June 16th from 09:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Amy Baldwin, Ed.D., Director, Department of Student Transitions - University of Central Arkansas
La’Tonya (LT) Rease-Miles, Ph.D., Director, First Year Experience and Strategic Initiatives - University of California, Los Angeles
James K. Winfield, Assistant Director for Faculty Development, University 101 Programs - University of South Carolina



Advocates of first-generation college students are often the most enthusiastic higher education professionals on their campuses, and with that excitement, it is easy to be affected by the challenges that come with building sustainable student support programs. This session will focus on identifying common obstacles to program growth and sustainability as well as creating viable pathways around those obstacles. Specifically, the workshop participants will learn how to increase both grassroots and top-down buy-in, deal strategically with resistance, and develop a plan for weathering inevitable institutional culture change.

Click Here to Register


The planning committees for the 2019 NASPA Conferences on Student Success in Higher Education worked to select pre-conference workshops that will enrich and enhance your attendee experience. Pre-conference workshops are typically three (3) hours, pre-conference Institutes are typically eight (8) hours, and both will require participants to pre-register for a fee.

Conducting Program Review Using the CAS Standards
Saturday, June 15th • 09:00 AM – 05:00 PM

Assessment 101: Introduction to Student Affairs Assessment
Sunday, June 16th • 09:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Data Analytics for Student Affairs: Developing a Foundation for Organizational Effectiveness
Sunday, June 16th • 09:00 AM – 12:00 PM

The Current & Future of College Completion: Critical Student Affairs Practices
Sunday, June 16th • 09:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Click Here to Learn More about Pre-Con Workshops


Registration as a member is based on individual membership status. If you are employed by a college or university that is an institutional member, you can join as an individual member at the $75 rate. This gives you the conference registration and a year of membership for less than the non-member registration fee. If your institution is NOT a member, then you will need to join at the associate affiliate rate of $242 and then you can pay the individual member rate for conference registration. Visit the Membership section of the NASPA website to learn about membership types.

The 2019 NASPA Conferences on Student Success in Higher Education converges four events into one. Please select the conference which is most applicable to you, though you are welcome to attend sessions and presentations from any conference on site.

Click here to register online!
Registration Fees
Early Registration
before 04/13/2019
Regular Registration
04/13/2019 to 05/18/2019
Late Registration
after to 05/18/2019
NASPA Member
$450 $500 $575
Non-NASPA Member
$650 $700 $775
NASPA Student Member
$155 $185 $230
Half-Day Pre-Conference Fees
Early Registration
before 04/13/2019
Regular Registration
04/13/2019 to 05/18/2019
Late Registration
after to 05/18/2019
Member and Non-Member Price
$75 $90 $115
Full-Day Pre-Conference Fees
Early Registration
before 04/13/2019
Regular Registration
04/13/2019 to 05/18/2019
Late Registration
after to 05/18/2019
Member and Non-Member Price
$110 $130 $150



All conference activities will take place at the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld.

Book Your Room Now!
NASPA has arranged special room rates for conference attendees at the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld starting at $189/night (not including 12.5% occupancy fee). The cut-off date to receive the conference room rate is Friday, May 24, 2019. Rooms in the conference block may sell out prior to the cut-off date, so please make your reservation as soon as possible.

Our special room rate includes a reduced resort fee of $20, which includes: 2 Bottled waters nightly, high-speed room internet, local/domestic long distance calls and in-room bottled water, transportation to Premium Outlets, and 10% discount in for a Tradewinds Restaurant dinner. Additionally, hotel guest will receive 50% discounted self-parking as well as complimentary use of the health club and gym facilities for the duration of the conference.