First-generation programs receive national honor

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First-generation programs receive national honor

Freshmen participate in a First Husker session on Aug. 13. Successes of the program have led to an initiative offering year-round support to first-generation college students.
Craig Chandler | University Communication
Freshmen participate in a First Husker session prior to the start of the fall semester. First-generation student programs at Nebraska have earned the university a First Forward designation.

The Center for First-generation Student Success, an initiative of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators and the Suder Foundation, has announced the University of Nebraska–Lincoln as a member of its inaugural cohort of First Forward Institutions.

The designation recognizes the university's commitment to improving experiences and outcomes of first-generation college students.

Selected institutions receive professional development, community-building experiences, and a first look at the center’s research and resources. Faculty and staff will have the opportunity to engage with peer institutions to share evidence-based practices and knowledge creation to continue to advance the success of first-generation students.

"This recognition comes from the hard work of our faculty and staff who are dedicated to the success of our first-gen students," said Amy Goodburn, senior associate vice chancellor and dean of undergraduate education. "I am excited for the opportunity to help our programs grow and continue making a difference."

Among the programs and initiatives that earned the university this recognition are:

First Gen logo

  • I'm First Symposium brings first-generation high school students to campus each spring to help them explore and overcome the barriers they face while preparing for college, paying tuition, and engaging support needed to build their futures. Students who attend have opportunities for scholarships and enrollment in the university's Emerging Leaders program.
  • First Husker supports first-generation students with a free four-day orientation before the fall semester begins to help with their adjustment to college. Students also receive social and academic support, through an academic success seminar and one-on-one coaching, during the semester. The program began in 2015, and many students from the first cohort are set to graduate in May 2019.
  • First-Generation Nebraska connects first-generation students with faculty and staff mentors who self-identify as first-generation college scholars or advocates. In addition to social and networking events, First-Generation Nebraska provides professional development workshops for faculty and staff on supporting these students’ needs.

Faculty and staff interested in First-Generation Nebraska campus events and opportunities to share their first-gen story can join the email list for updates.