2020 First-generation Student Success Conference
Join us from June 29 - July 1, as scholars and practitioners will convene in Baltimore, MD 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-gen Forward, the nation's first recognition program acknowledging higher education institutions for their commitment to first-generation student success.
There are currently 268 desginated First-gen Forward Institutions across the 2019-20, 2020-21, 2021-22, and 2022-23 cohorts. Collectively, they represent a 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.
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-gen Forward Institutions will:
First-gen Forward Institutions will have the opportunity to participate in free optional virtual workshops throughout their experience, for cohort meetings and professional development.
First-gen Forward Institutions who continue to satisfy the requirements of participation, may continue with First-gen Forward. Continued participation allows for new or different faculty and staff participants and requires completion of the goal-setting exercise and annual report, THREE (3) virtual events, and engagement in monthly calls. Unless desired, there is no requirement to continue to complete additional blogs. After two successful cycles in the program, First-gen Forward iInstitutions are eligible to remain at the same status or apply for Advisory status.
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 eligibility.
Complete the application to the best of your ability, but please understand that it is not a requirement of 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!
Soon after the close of the application, the review committee will begin the selection process. Institutions will be notified via an email to the primary contact included in the application.
Please note that the Center team is making substantive updates to the application for the 2023-34 cohort at this time. More information about the application and the timeline will be available in the coming weeks.
If you and your institution are located outside of the United States but you interested in learning more about the First-gen Forward recognition program, please email the Center.
First-gen Forward is an institutional designation, once you become a First-gen Forward Institution or First-gen Forward Advisory Institution, that designation remains as long as your institution is actively advancing first-generation efforts and program requirements are being met. There is a difference between the requirements of participation from your first year and beyond. Current First-gen Forward Institutions should review the First-gen Forward Course for detailed information about specific requirements.
Selected institutions will enter the program with the First-gen Forward Institution or Advisory Institution. After two successful cycles, First-gen Forward Institutions will be eligible to apply for First-gen 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-gen Forward Institutions. This designation also comes with additional recognition for the selected campus.
An institution is also welcome to remain a First-gen Forward Institution beyond two years, without applying for Advisory Institution status, to continue professional development with fewer requirements.