First generation college students face a broad range of challenges to their academic success and general wellness. These students also possess valuable but often unrecognized perspectives and cultural capital. Guided by institutional and national data, the First Generation Committee motivates and organizes institutional awareness and support for first generation students. The committee works to amplify first generation student voices and support implementation of student-driven initiatives for first generation students at Truman State University.
While the committee’s work implicitly serves Truman State University’s Mission and Vision Statements, it explicitly serves one element of the Vision: “Ensuring access to an increasingly diverse student population while maintaining its commitment to academic excellence through recruitment and mentorship of students capable of succeeding in an academically challenging environment.”
If you are enrolled in post-secondary education, but no parent or guardian that you regularly resided with at age 18 has obtained a bachelor’s degree, you are a First Generation College Student.
It is important to understand what it means to be a first generation college student, but often students and families are left with a lot of questions. Below we have provided the definition used by our committee. If you are still left with more questions, visit our What Is First Gen? web page, which outlines the definitions of different degree types, and provides some frequently asked questions about what is and is not first generation.
Being a first generation student can be incredibly stressful, as students are setting forth on an adventure no one else in their family has taken. Supporting first generation college students encourages them to push past any fear of the unknown and allows them to find comfort in a community of others who understand the difficulties that come with being first generation. –Brianna Caravella, Class of 2019