Center for First-Generation Student Success

SAIC Joins First-Gen Forward

This month, SAIC is proud to be recognized as one of 77 programs to join First-Gen Forward, an initiative by the Center for First-Generation Student Success. The center, based at the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) in Washington D.C., is 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.”

SAIC continues an academic year that has seen an increased devotion to the success of first-generation students, who make up almost 20 percent of SAIC’s undergraduate and graduate community. In Fall 2019, SAIC President Elissa Tenny, a former first-generation student herself, initiated the charge to launch First-Generation Fellows, a program supporting employment, mentorship, workshops, and scholarship opportunities for first-generation students.

Programs like these are vital to establishing community, opportunity, and belonging. Sadie Woods (MFA 2016), a lecturer in the Contemporary Practices department, comments, “Higher education has expanded my creative network and created space to engage critically within multiple communities simultaneously. This has informed my practice in respect to having a balance between academic and socially engaged work."

As part of their engagement with the Center and NASPA, SAIC has the opportunity to participate in the annual First-Gen Forward Workshop in Baltimore, MD, this upcoming June.