Dear Student Affairs: Reflections from a First-Generation HESA Graduate Student

Havens / The Vermont Connection / April 2022

This letter is an invitation for first-generation and economically minoritized student affairs practitioners to reflect on the multiple identities they hold within the U.S. higher education system. The Critical Cultural Wealth Model is a theoretical framework that explicitly examines first-generation and economically minoritized (FGEM) college students’ academic and career development. This framework is used as a guide to explore how the dominance of Whiteness informs the historic and present construction of social and financial support structures for FGCS students in higher education, and how these structures ultimately fail to support FGCS on an individual and systemic level.