Building on the success of initial support programs aimed at retaining first-generation undergraduate and graduate students, the university will establish a dedicated position to coordinate and grow both academic and co-curricular support for students across campus who are the first in their families to attend college.

Year Four Progress

Year Four focused on outreach, leadership, and community programming. The Go Blue Guarantee and HAIL Scholarship Program increased the number of first-generation and low-income students on campus. In addition, the Office of Enrollment Management provided new data on first-generation graduate students, resulting in expanded opportunities for graduate student outreach. Adding to the momentum, student leaders organized a highly collaborative First-Gen Council to coordinate programming across campus.

All first-generation students were invited to participate in First-Generation Signature Programs as well as the first-generation student organization (FGCS@UM) and various services available through campus partners. Students interested in more frequent communication now receive a weekly newsletter with updates from the Gateway, FGCS@UM, and information on programs and services including mentorship, funding opportunities, internship and graduate school applications, information sessions, and more.

In Year Four, directors of the Office of New Student Programs, Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives, Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs Office, and the Comprehensive Studies Program began meeting on a monthly basis with the First-Generation Project Manager to provide program direction. Also, student leaders representing First-Gen Engin, Propeller Collaborative, and FGCS@UM organized the First-Gen Council to coordinate programming among organizations with similar target populations.

FGCS@UM nearly doubled its events to provide social and professional development programs for members. Of the 17 planned programs, two were moved online due to the pandemic. FGCS@UM also became a national chapter of First-Gen/Low-Income Partnership (FLIP) National, a nonprofit promoting equal access to higher education for intersectional first-gen and low-SES students.

Participation in First-Generation Gateway community programs increased over the prior year, with First-Gen Week drawing 25 percent more participants and Community Dinners seeing an increase of 40 percent. However, the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a 40 percent participation decrease in the First-Generation Graduation ceremony.

Responsibility: Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives