A Syllabus For College Transition
The transition to college is challenging, this article navigates some must know tips.
Congratulations on choosing to further your education! While attending college provides you with a unique opportunity to develop your skills, get a good job, and give back to your community in unique ways, being a first-generation student can be difficult. You may experience a range of emotions during your college journey as you attempt to navigate an unfamiliar setting with unwritten rules, but please know that you are not alone as you complete your degree.
As a first-generation student, you possess unique strengths and talents, and there are many people who are eager to help you succeed. With roughly half of college students idenitfying as first-generation, you can almost always find someone who has experienced what you're going through.
Let us tell you a bit about the Center, and then, we will provide some additional information and resources to assist you in your college journey. We hope that you are proud of your first-generation status, and we are excited to see what you accomplish!
The Center for First-generation Student Success is 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. This means that we help colleges and universities help you to succeed as a first-generation college student. While we do not work with first-generation high school or college students directly, we want to help you navigate your institutions and locate more information that will allow you to succeed. Check out the sections below to get started.
Students often learn of their first-gen identity after starting college. This section may help you to determine whether you're a first-gen student. Click the plus sign next to each question to reveal the answer!
If your parents took a few college classes or even completed community college, you will quite often be considered first-generation. It is important to ask your college or university as there may be important opportunities available to you. Check in with a campus resource in admissions, academic advising, or student services to learn more!
While the definition can be complicated, being a first-generation student means that your parents did not complete a 4-year college or university degree. Some colleges and universities have different variations of this definition, to be sure ask your admissions counselor, academic advisor, or faculty member to learn more.
Yes, being a first-generation student means that your parent(s) did not complete a 4-year college or university degree, regardless of other family member’s level of education. Older siblings and family members who attended college may be a great resource as you navigate your college journey!
Many colleges and universities are beginning to consider students with parents who attended international universities as first-generation. We suggest contacting your admissions counselor, academic advisor, first-generation student programs office, or a trusted person on your campus to learn more. There may be resources ready for you!
Are you currently a high school student considering attending college? Check out this helpful page to learn new terms and then read below for tips to learn more the college admissions process.
Are you currently a college or university student? No matter whether you are new to college or a seasoned pro, everyone still has something new to learn. Check out this helpful page to learn new terms and then read below for tips to learn more about your first-gen identity and navigating your community.
A student's first-generation status often represents only one facet of a complex identity. Many students identify as "first-gen plus" Black, Indigenous, or person of color (BIPOC); Queer or Trans (LGBTQIA+); student veteran and/or military connected; low-income; and more. Holding multiple identities can give one a unique set of strengths, but this can also create unique challenges. The resources below may help as you navigate you campus, but we encourage you to reach out to your resident advisors, orientation leaders, or peer-mentors for more information on supports for "first-gen plus" students (e.g., your campus' multicultural center).
We would love to hear about your experience as a first-generation college student. If you would like to share your story with us, please fill out this form. Also, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn @FirstgenCenter! Use the #FirstgenForward hashtag to keep up with conversations that might be relevant to your experience.