UNC-Chapel Hill’s status as a First-gen Forward institution was recently reaffirmed by the Center for First-generation Student Success. The center is an initiative of The Suder Foundation and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators-Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, the leading association for the advancement, health and sustainability of the student affairs profession.
The center based its decision on the University’s continued commitment to the First-gen Forward phase of the First Scholars Network. Carolina was named an inaugural participant because of its long-standing commitment to first-generation students and its ability to serve as a mentor to other selected institutions.
“We have been honored to be a part of and recognized as a First-gen Forward institution,” said Kathy Wood, director of Diversity and Student Success at The Graduate School at UNC-Chapel Hill. “This has allowed for key partnerships across the country and an opportunity to share best practices with other universities. Our first-gen students, both undergraduate and graduate, are vital contributors to UNC-Chapel Hill, and we are excited to offer programming that supports and elevates these students.”
The First-gen Forward designation recognizes institutions of higher education that are improving experiences and advancing 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.
Designated faculty and staff at First-gen Forward Institutions also have multiple opportunities to engage with peer and aspirational institutions that are creating environments to improve the experiences and outcomes of first-generation students.
In 2019, UNC-Chapel Hill, which offers numerous initiatives focused on first-generation students, was recognized specifically for Carolina Firsts, offered through the Office of Undergraduate Retention in the Office of Undergraduate Education in the College of Arts and Sciences, and Carolina Grad Student F1RSTS, offered within The Graduate School’s DSS program.