2020 First-generation Student Success Conference
This conference will convene scholars and practitioners to discuss effective approaches to support and improve the outcomes of first-generation college students.
The Center for First-generation Student Success launched in June 2017, with the mission of being the premier source of evidence-based practices, professional development, and knowledge creation for the higher education community to advance the success of first-generation students. In continuing this mission, the Center launched First Forward, the nation's first recognition program acknowledging higher education institutions for their commitment to first-generation student success.
The application process for the 2020-21 First Forward cohort is now open! Selected institutions will join an elite community of professionals prepared to share evidence-based practices and resources, troubleshoot challenges, generate knowledge, and continue to advance the success of first-generation students across the United States.
To learn more, check out the recording from the First Forward Virtual Meeting.
In addition to submitting a complete application by 11:59 PM ET on WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 18, 2019, interested institutions must:
Designate a minimum of two currently employed faculty and/or staff to serve as the institutional representatives to the program (additional faculty/staff are welcome to participate in programming);
Commit to fulfilling the requirements outlined in the requirements of participation section below.
Participants from selected institutions will have opportunities to engage with a national cohort of institutions as well as a regional community of colleagues who are in geographic proximity to their campus. Selected First Forward Institutions will:
First Forward institutions are invited to attend the 2021 NASPA Annual Conference (March 20 - March 24) in Kansas City, MO, for cohort meetings and professional development.
First Forward institutions who satisfy participation requirements for the 2020-2021 cycle will be invited to renew their status as a First Forward institution. Continued participation allows for new or different faculty and staff participants and requires attendance at the June First Forward Workshop, completion of the goal-setting exercise and annual report, and engagement in monthly calls. Unless desired, there is no requirement to continue with live briefings or on demand professional development or to complete additional blogs. After two successful cycles in the program, First Forward iInstitutions are eligible to remain at the same status or apply for Advisory status.
More information for the 2021-2022 cycle will be updated and provided to selected First Forward institutions in the coming months.
This is an in-depth application process, asking you to share institutional data, detail campus-wide efforts to support first-generation students, as well as demonstrate institutional buy-in from leadership. The eligibility requirements state that institutions must be a NASPA Institutional member and the primary institutional contact must be a professional member. The application includes steps to determine institutional and profesional member status. Please be prepared to confirm elibility.
Complete the application to the best of your ability but please understand that it is not a requirement for your institution to be actively pursuing each area to be considered for selection. We look forward to learning more about the great efforts you and your colleagues are leading!
The First Forward application will close on Wednesday, December 18, 2019, at 11:59 PM ET. Soon after the close of the application, the review committee will begin the selection process. Institutions will be notified by late-January, and notification will be sent via email, to the primary contact as well asa president or senior leader included in the application.
If you and your institution are located outside of the United States but you interested in learning more about the First Forward recognition program, please email the Center.
Selected institutions will enter the program with the First Forward Institution or Advisory Institution. After two successful cycles, First Forward Institutions will be eligible to apply for First Forward Advisory Institution status. This designation signals a continued commitment to first-generation student success and allows participants to become Regional Community leaders and offer leadership support to new First Forward Institutions. This designation also comes with additional recognition for the selected campus.
An institution is also welcome to remain a First Forward Institution beyond two years, without applying for Advisory Institution status, to continue professional development with fewer requirements.
Opportunities for a third level of First Forward leadership are under development and will be announced as the program is established.
First Forward is an institutional designation, once you become a First Forward Institution or First Forward Advisory Institution, that designation remains as long as your institution is actively advancing first-generation efforts and program requirements are being met. As part of the 2019-20 First Forward cohort, there is NO need to reapply to First Forward.
Sunday, March 29 from 9:00 am - 12:00 pm • Grand Salon - 1, JW Marriott
This optional workshop is dedicated to the 2019-20 First Forward cohort and you must apply the appropriate discount code to register. This free half-day facilitated workshop offers a unique professional development opportunity, taking a deeper look into content area surrounding first-generation student success. Additionally, participants will begin the annual review process, including reviewing institution goals, assessing progress, as well as exploring possible next steps.
Sunday, June 28 • tentatively starting at 10:00 am (local time)
This full-day workshop will serve as the kick-off event for the 2020-21 First Forward cohort and is an optional workshop for the 2019-20 First Forward cohort. This workshop will include a unique professional opportunity specifically tailored to the 2019-20 cohort. Please be sure to apply the appropriate discount code.
The First Forward requirements for year two will adjust slightly and will be shared toward the end of the academic year.
After two successful cycles, First Forward Institutions will be eligible to apply for First Forward Advisory Institution status. This designation signals a continued commitment to first-generation student success and allows participants to become Regional Community leaders and offer leadership support to new First Forward Institutions. This designation also comes with additional recognition for the selected campus.
Further details will be shared toward the end of the academic year.