Lafayette has received First-gen Forward Designation from Center for First-generation Student Success.

The designation, an initiative of NASPA–Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education and the Suder Foundation, recognizes institutions of higher education that have demonstrated a commitment to 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. Lafayette was one of only 77 institutions nationwide to receive the designation this year.

“The center is so pleased to welcome Lafayette College into the 2020-21 cohort of First-gen Forward institutions. Through the application process, it was evident that Lafayette 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,” said Sarah E. Whitley, senior director of Center for First-generation Student Success.

“We are extremely proud to receive this First-gen Forward designation, and it has added even more focus and energy to our efforts to build and celebrate our first-gen community,” said Michael Olin, dean of advising and co-curricular programs. “Our first-gen students, faculty, staff, and alumni transform and contribute to our campus in countless ways. We are driven to continue to support them through creative, evidence-based initiatives.”

First-generation students made up about 14% of the incoming classes over the last two years. They are the first in their family to pursue a four-year college degree, and international students who are the first in their family to pursue a four-year college degree in the United States.

One of the College’s newest initiatives, the First-Generation Mentoring Program strives to connect first-gen students with faculty and staff for additional support, guidance, and perspective.

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