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First-Generation

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Being a first-generation college student brings with it a set of obstacles that students must overcome in order to be successful.  Understanding common terms/acronyms, financial aid, homesickness, imposter syndrome, and time management are just some of the issues that first-generation students face on their higher education journey.  

At WVU Tech, we realize these issues and work to meet the needs of our first generation population.

Who is Classified as a First-Generation College Student?

You are a “first-generation college student” if your parents did not earn a four-year college degree. If your parents earned an associate’s degree, you are still considered a first-generation college student by the U.S. Department of Education.

If you live with only one parent or guardian, they provide all your support, and that parent doesn’t have a four-year college, you are considered a “first-generation college student.”

Also, did you know that if you have a sibling that earned a two-year (associate) or four-year (bachelor) college degree, you are still considered a first-generation college student?


Laying the Groundwork

The Educational Opportunity Act of 1964 created an experiential program known as Upward Bound to work with low-income, first generation high school students.  With the passage of the Higher Education Act of 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson set forth directives to increase the number of individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds receiving a college degree.  In 1968, Student Support Services (originally known as Special Services for Disadvantaged Students) was created to work with college students.  The concept of "first-generation" students was introduced into federal policy by the TRIO community in 1980, during passage of the Higher Education Amendments to the Higher Education Act of 1965.

In Their Own Words
WVU Tech students, faculty, staff and alumni discuss their first generation journeys below:
Victor Garcia
Dr. Cynthia Hall
Marissa Hare
Dr. J.T. Hird
Phil Redden
Cody Walker
Brianna Whaley
Tyesha White

Thanks to those who help make First Generation Week and ongoing programming possible. 
WVU Tech First Generation Committee
WVU Tech Division of Student Life 
WVU Tech University Relations
West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission 

Thanks to those who have supported programming and sessions with in-kind gifts of expertise and time.
Chase Bank - Neville Street, Beckley
TGBAA/Career Services Mentorship Program
Council for Opportunity in Education
NASPA

Want to support First Generation students and programming? 
Donate to the Campus Life fund (2W638) to support our first generation students at WVU Tech. You can add "first generation" in the gift comments in the online form. 

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