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First-Gen Forward

In June 2017, the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators launched the Center for First-Generation Student Success. The mission of the center was to provide evidence-based practices, professional development, and space for the higher education community to convene and advance the educational outcomes of first-generation students.

In January 2020, with the support of Dr. Joyce Alexander in the College of Education, Texas A&M University was recognized as a First-Gen Forward Institution. Along with 77 First-Gen Forward institutions, TAMU joins the inaugural cohort of 80 nation-wide First-Gen Forward institutions. The First-Gen Forward TAMU members are Kelley O’Neal, Director of the Marilyn Kent Byrne Student Success Center in the College of Education, Dr. Jacqueline Turner, a Research Specialist II in the Educational Psychology Department in the College of Education, Victor Castillo, program coordinator for Science Leadership Scholars in the College of Science, and Dr. Leticia Palomin, program coordinator for the Gen1 Learning Community in the Office for Student Success. The representatives are all first-generation college graduates, work with first-generation students in various capacities at TAMU, and are committed to first-generation student success initiatives.

Similar to the Center for First-Generation Student Success, the TAMU First-Gen Forward team would like to increase the awareness of campus first-generation student initiatives, highlight existing evidence-based practices tailored for first-generation students, and provide a space for faculty and staff who are first-generation or advocates and work with first-generation students. The TAMU First-Gen Forward team meets monthly with other First-Gen Forward institutions from the Southwest Region to discuss first-generation topics and identify opportunities to collaborate with institutions as it relates to first-generation students. The benefits of these regional community meetings are to be the first to review national reports, access to resources, and professional development opportunities to disseminate with our TAMU campus partners. The First-Gen Forward team is currently working on identifying next steps of extending the invitation for campus representatives who are first-generation or are advocates and work first-generation students to gather and establish collaboration efforts focused on first-generation students.

In collaboration with the Office for Student Success, the goal of the TAMU First-Gen Forward team is to create a shared understanding of the first-generation population on campus, establish cross-campus partnerships to advance first-generation student outcomes, and highlight existing programs and evidence-based practices.

For more information about First-Gen Forward, please email us here.