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Email: cbaldwin@uwyo.edu

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UW Honored for Commitment to First-Generation Student Success

March 23, 2020

The University of Wyoming has been recognized by a national organization for the university’s commitment to improving experiences and advancing outcomes of first-generation college students.

The Center for First-generation Student Success, an initiative of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) and the Suder Foundation, recently announced that UW is part of its 2020-21 cohort of First-gen Forward Institutions. Selected institutions receive professional development, community-building experiences and a first look at the center’s research and resources.

“The center is so pleased to welcome the University of Wyoming into the 2020-21 cohort of First-gen Forward Institutions,” says Sarah Whitley, senior director of the Center for First-generation Student Success. “Through the application process, it was evident that the University of Wyoming is not only taking steps to serve first-generation students, but is prepared to make a long-term commitment and employ strategies for significant scaling and important advances in the future.”

With the support of both Associate Vice Provost Anne Alexander and Kim Chestnut, acting vice president for student affairs, UW’s LeaRN Program and Residence Life have created new support programs for first-generation students.

LeaRN sponsored the creation of First Gen Scholars, a broad-based support and mentoring program designed to help first-year students connect to the resources, activities and programs available at the university. Residence Life created the First-Generation Community located in the Tobin House. Students who choose this community have access to additional opportunities to learn about the university, interact with first-generation staff and faculty members, and gain valuable skills and resources.

“I am thrilled that so many campus programs and departments have shown interest in supporting our first-generation students. From well-established programs such as Student Success Services and McNair Scholars, to our academic advising centers, tutoring programs and faculty, everyone has been very supportive of our ideas to help this growing student population,” says Makayla Stewart, program manager for UW’s First Gen Scholars. “My colleagues in Residence Life and I are excited to have received this recognition from NASPA.”

As a First-gen Forward Institution, UW’s select faculty and staff will be afforded multiple opportunities to engage with peer and aspirational institutions that also are creating environments that improve the experiences and outcomes of first-generation students. Selected institutions will send representatives to the First-gen Forward Workshop in Baltimore in June and will participate in monthly phone calls, virtual professional development, goal setting, blog development, annual reporting and more. After two successful years in the program, institutions are eligible to apply for the Advisory leadership designation.

“First-gen Forward is an exciting opportunity for the University of Wyoming to join an elite community of professionals prepared to share evidence-based practices and resources, troubleshoot challenges, generate knowledge and continue to advance the success of first-generation students across the country,” says Kevin Kruger, president and CEO of NASPA. “We are excited to see a groundswell of activity from the First-gen Forward cohort and know the University of Wyoming will be a significant contributor.”

To learn more about first-generation efforts at UW, visit www.uwyo.edu/firstgeneration. To learn more about the Center for First-generation Student Success, visit http://firstgen.naspa.org.

Contact Us

Institutional Communications

Bureau of Mines Building, Room 137

Laramie

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-2929

Email: cbaldwin@uwyo.edu

Find us on Facebook (Link opens a new window) Find us on Twitter (Link opens a new window)

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