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The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s status as a First-gen Forward institution was recently reaffirmed by the Center for First-generation Student Success, an initiative of NASPA-Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education and The Suder Foundation.

A group of people wearing doctoral regalia smile
Brionca Taylor at the 2023 doctoral hooding ceremony.

The center based its decision on the University’s continued commitment to the First-gen Forward phase of the First Scholars Network, for which it was named an inaugural participant because of its long-standing commitment to first-generation students and the University’s ability to serve as a mentor to other selected institutions.

“We have been honored to be a part of and recognized as a First-gen Forward institution,” said Kathy Wood, director of Diversity and Student Success (DSS) at The Graduate School at UNC-Chapel Hill. “This has allowed for key partnerships across the country and an opportunity to share best practices with other universities. Our first-gen students, both undergraduate and graduate, are vital contributors to UNC-Chapel Hill, and we are excited to offer programming that supports and elevates these students.”

The First-gen Forward designation recognizes institutions of higher education that are improving experiences and advancing outcomes of first-generation college students. Selected institutions receive professional development, community-building experiences and a first look at the center’s research and resources.

Designated faculty and staff at First-gen Forward Institutions also have multiple opportunities to engage with peer and aspirational institutions that are creating environments to improve the experiences and outcomes of first-generation students.

In 2019, UNC-Chapel Hill, which offers numerous initiatives focused on first-generation students, was recognized specifically for Carolina Firsts, offered through the Office of Undergraduate Retention in the Office of Undergraduate Education in the College of Arts & Sciences, and Carolina Grad Student F1RSTS, offered within The Graduate School’s DSS program.

NASPA-Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education is the leading association for the advancement, health and sustainability of the student affairs profession.

View all institutions recognized for maintaining First-gen Forward status.

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