Powered by the Center for First-generation Student Success, First Scholars is the national model for scaling holistic first-generation student success by engaging and empowering institutions of higher education to radically transform the first-generation student experience, advance academic and co-curricular outcomes, and build more inclusive institutional structures.
Through a phased approach, designed to scaffold learning and achievement of institutions over time, First Scholars provides institutions with the opportunity to engage in student-centered, systemic transformation through an ecosystem of resources. We provide an evidence-based and research-supported framework of actionable priorities supported through intentional and relevant monthly workshops, diagnostic tools providing critical institutional insight, a host of customized solutions, continuous improvement cycles, robust data sharing and reporting, and the personalized guidance of expert coaches along each step of the experience. The First Scholars Network, composed of institutions of higher education who are active First Scholars participants, serves as the backbone for this national scaling model, bringing together higher education leaders from around the country to share data, model innovations, and scale impact to first-gen student support. Elevating the demonstrated potential of first-generation students is the key to innovating and scaling student success at your institution.
Today’s higher education landscape is primed for intentional change intended to dismantle systemic barriers limiting students’ ability to succeed and thrive. With over one-third of currently enrolled undergraduate students identifying as first-generation, institution leaders are increasingly prioritizing first-generation success as imperative to their overall institutional success. Through First Scholars, institutions will be poised to face the challenge of a shrinking consumer base, and the loss of return on investment when students are not retained.
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