UNC Pembroke was among 53 institutions nationwide selected by the Center for First-Generation Student Success 2022-2023 First-Gen Forward cohort.
First Gen-Forward is the nation's first recognition program acknowledging higher education institutions for their demonstrated commitment to first-generation student success. UNCP is being recognized for 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.
"This designation is a prime example of UNC Pembroke's commitment to supporting first-generation students and their success at our university," said interim Provost Zoe Locklear.
"Being a First-Gen Forward campus means that our faculty, staff and leadership recognize the importance of advancing the success of first-generation students and are actively engaging first-generation students throughout campus both in and out of the classroom," Dr. Locklear said.
As a First-gen Forward institution, interested faculty and staff will be afforded multiple opportunities to engage with peer institutions that create environments that improve first-generation students' experiences and outcomes.
Selected institutions will send representatives to the First-Gen Forward workshop slated for early June. They will participate in monthly calls, virtual professional development, goal setting, blog development, annual reporting and more. After two successful years in the program, institutions can apply for the advisory leadership designation.
"Being a first-generation graduate of UNC Pembroke, I can speak firsthand about knowing that this institution has been and will continue to be a significant supporter of the success of first-generation students as we launch the 2022-23 First-Gen Forward cohort," said Dalton Hoffer, assistant director for Transition Programs at UNCP.
"Ultimately, this designation is due to the significant initiatives our faculty and staff have implemented in celebrating our first-generation students," Hoffer said.
Dr. Sarah E. Whitley, assistant vice president for Center for First-generation Student Success, added, "the center is pleased to welcome UNCP into the 2022-23 First-gen Forward cohort.
"Through the application process, it was evident that UNCP is not only taking steps to serve first-generation students but is prepared to make a long-term commitment and employ strategies that foster an environment of success for this important population," Whitley said.