November 8 marks the 53rd anniversary of the signing of the 1965 Higher Education Act (HEA), which has helped millions of low-income students become the first members of their families to earn college degrees. At Western, a first-generation student is defined as students who are the first in their family to attend university, i.e. their parents did not complete a university degree.
On Thursday, Nov. 8, college campuses around the nation will celebrate the success of first-generation students, faculty and staff. At Western, Student Outreach Services (SOS) will host a Meet ‘n' Greet in The Miller Hall Collaborative space from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event is intended to bring campus awareness to first-generation students at WWU and to build relationships with colleagues. All are welcome.
SOS will be spearheading a First-Generation Campaign across the University campus throughout the 2018-19 academic year. The department is in the process of learning more about our first-generation students with the help of the Institutional Research Office. SOS plans to survey its students, including forming focus groups. It will also survey departments across campus to see how the University is currently serving first-generation students. The Meet ‘n Greet will launch the First-Generation Campaign.
Staff in SOS are members of NASPA. NASPA stands for National Association of Student Personnel Administrators. The updated name of the association to NASPA is Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. In 2017, the Council for Opportunity in Education (COE) and the Center for First-generation Student Success launched the inaugural First-Generation College Celebration! Given the overwhelming success of this event, COE and the Center will partner to make this celebration an annual event. Click here to view the joint COE and Center press release! (Center for First-Generation Student Success: An Initiative of NASPA and the Suder Foundation, 2018).
For more information about the First-Gen Meet ‘n Greet, contact Cameron Wuhr at Cameron.Wuhr@wwu.edu / 360-650-7443 / Old Main 387.