The University of Utah is one of 53 new institutions to be designated as a First-gen Forward institution by NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education and the Center for First-Generation Student Success. The center was launched in 2017 with a mission to advance the success of first-generation students through evidence-based practices, professional development, and knowledge-creating for the higher education community. Members of the First-gen Forward cohort are committed to first-generation success and are given the opportunity to engage with national institutions and regional colleagues within the NASPA network.
“As part of this new designation, the University of Utah will engage with a broad community of peer institutions dedicated to the success of first-generation students,” said T. Chase Hagood, senior associate vice president for Academic Affairs and dean of the Office of Undergraduate Studies. “As a first-generation student myself, it is an honor to have faculty and staff at the U recognized for their dedication to the success of first-generation students. I look forward to the myriad ways this partnership will aid in creating exceptional student experiences for first-generation students at the U.”
“The recognition of our first-gen student support is momentous. For ten years our office has built relationships across campus to support the many transformative ‘firsts’ experienced by first-gen students,” said Dena Ned, associate dean in the Office of Undergraduate Studies and associate professor in the College of Social Work. “This designation as a First-gen Forward Institution shows our campus intent and readiness to further the success of every 1st gen student from enrollment to graduation and beyond.”
“The First-Gen Scholars program at the U provides a supportive community for first generation-students. Our aim is to assist students in navigating challenges they may face at the university and to connect them with various resources available on campus,” said Linda Paternina-Serrano, program manager of First-Generation Scholars at the U. “This designation will build upon the work that we are already doing for first-gen students. The University of Utah is prepared to make a strong commitment to fostering an environment of success for first-generation students.”
The designation brings a connection to a national network of committed institutions and engagements for the U within the network in the upcoming years.