Network Member

Serving as the entry point into the First Scholars Network, Network Member institutions commit to building a foundational understanding of first-generation student success through participating in monthly workshops, networking and professional development opportunities, sharing knowledge and resources, and contributing to a peer community. 

An institution may advance to the next phase, First-gen Forward, upon successful completion of the Network Member requirements over the course of a year.  By joining the First Scholars Network, your institution is making a commitment to advancing first-generation outcomes with the goal of becoming a Champion Campus.


First Scholars Network Home


Benefits of Participation

Network Member Engagement Benefits

Required Experiences


REQUIREMENTS= Virtual Kick-Off + Institution Blog + First-gen College Celebration Event + 2 Institution Goals + First Scholars Interest Meeting + Monthly Network Member Meetings + Center Online Learning Three (3) paid events per year + Annual Report


Network Member institutions become eligible to move to the First-gen Forward phase in June 2025 upon successful completion of requirements. 

Associated Cost:

Please note: there is no application cost or annual fee to become a Network Member. The only associated costs with this experience include maintaining NASPA institutional membership status and completing the learning and development requirements.

Learning and Development 2024- 2025 Options:

Option 1: Participate in 3

  • Center Online Learning (1)

  • Complete an e-learning module (1)

  • Service to the Field (1)

Option 2: Participate in 1

  • Attendance at SSHE 

  • Attend the NASPA Annual Conference and participate in a Center Pre-Con





  • Be an active, accredited, two-year or four-year institution of higher education located within the United States;

  • Maintain a  NASPA Institutional membership; if selected for the Network institutions without a membership will be required to join; and 

  • Secure cabinet-level leadership support and commitment to participation;

  • Designate a minimum of two currently employed faculty and/or staff, plus at least one senior leader,  to serve as the institutions leadership team (additional faculty/staff are welcome to participate in programming); and

  • Commit to fulfilling the items outlined in the Required Experiences

Each phase of the Network has unique eligibility and programmatic requirements that are detailed in those sections.

How to Join

To join the First Scholars Network, you will apply using the

 Readiness and Progress Audit.

Submit the Readiness and Progress Audit to Join the First Scholars Network:  Early 2025

The Readiness and Progress Audit is a diagnostic tool that collects data on the ways your institution serves first-generation students and is utilized throughout the First Scholars Network experience to collect longitudinal progress data to better learn how your institution is working to strengthen and scale institutional infrastructure and resources for first-generation students.   

The Readiness and Progress Audit will be utilized at multiple points during the First Scholar Network experience.

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.

We invite you to join the First Scholars Network in 2025!

Institutions who submit the Interest Form below will receive access to our Information Sessions, Readiness and Progress Audit Content Guide, E-Learning Module, and the link to submit the Readiness and Progress Audit when available.