NMU Honors First-Generation Students

Stock photo near wildcat statue

Northern Michigan University will join college campuses across the nation in recognizing the efforts of students who are the first in their families to earn a bachelor's degree. NMU's First-Generation College Student Celebration will be held on Monday, Nov. 8.

The event begins at noon in 224 Harden Hall, where a panel of currently-enrolled first-gen students will share their experiences through the IDEA forum, coordinated through the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Center for Teaching and Learning. IDEA stands for Inclusive Discussions for Educational Awareness. The goal of the forum is to provide students with a collective voice to impact teaching, and for faculty to better understand the experiences of their students.

At 5 p.m., all first-generation students, faculty and staff are invited to gather briefly at the wildcat statue outside Jamrich Hall, then partake in pizza, cookies and snacks in the Hedgcock Atrium.  

"Being a first-generation college student comes with some significant challenges," wrote Haley Rhoades, assistant dean of students at NMU. "Not having parents at home to coach you on how and when to fill out the FAFSA, confusion about scheduling, feelings of impostor syndrome, and misunderstandings about expectation can take a perfectly capable student down a notch. It can also lead you to feel like an outsider with your family when you go home. We want you to know you're not alone in this struggle and that your success is hard-fought."

This year's First-Generation College Student Celebration is collaboratively organized by the Dean of Students Office, Center for Teaching and Learning, McNair Scholars Program, and Student Support Services Program.

In 2017, the Council for Opportunity in Education (COE), in partnership with the Center for First-generation Student Success, an initiative of NASPA and The Suder Foundation, celebrated the inaugural First-Generation College Celebration on Nov. 8 with an event on Capitol Hill. This date marks the 56th anniversary of the signing of the 1965 Higher Education Act (HEA), which has helped millions of first-generation, low-income/under-resourced students persist to degree completion.

NMU is home to three programs authorized by the HEA: The Student Support Services Program, The Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program, and the Upward Bound Math & Science Program. NMU also boasts a First-Gen Services Office, directed by Haley Rhoades, Assistant Dean of Students.

NMU media contacts: Haley Rhoades, hrhoades@nmu.edu or 906-227-1700; and Lindsay Haukkala, McNair Scholars Program Coordinator, lhaukkal@nmu.edu or 906-227-2560

Prepared By

Kristi Evans
News Director

Categories: Around NMU