FIU recognized for first-generation student success programs, initiatives

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FIU has been recognized by the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators(NASPA) as a First Forward university for its commitment and success in serving first-generation students.

As a First Forward Institution, FIU joins 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.

“Every day at FIU, I meet some of the most determined and ingenious students, who are proudly paving a new path forward for themselves and their families,” said FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg. “As a first-generation college graduate myself, I understand the life-changing difference that additional support and guidance can have.”

Twenty-five percent of FIU students are considered first-generation, and nearly 50 percent are Pell grant recipients.

FIU’s access and support programs for first generation students include Federal TRIO programs, success coaches, professional advisors, a Math Mastery Lab and the largest learning assistant program in the nation.

“As one of the largest minority-serving universities in the nation, we have a proactive and innovative approach to student success that has resulted in increased retention and graduation rates, especially for first-generation students,” said Elizabeth Bejar, Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs. “We count the talent, dedication and hard work of our first-generation students as one of our institution’s strengths and we hope to serve as a model for supporting the success of these students.”

This past April, FIU hosted the first annual Focus on First Generation conference, which provided a platform for academic and student affairs professionals to engage and share strategies for building institutional effectiveness, increasing equitable outcomes and supporting career readiness of first-generation students.

The First Forward initiative, created by NASPA’s Center for First-generation Student Success, is the nation’s first recognition program acknowledging higher education institutions for their commitment to first-generation student success.

The Center for First-generation Student Success launched in June 2017 with the mission of being the premier source of evidence-based practices, professional development, and knowledge creation for the higher education community to advance the success of first-generation students.


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