First-Generation Students

First Generation Fellows Sit and Talk

SAIC is proud of our first-generation students! Being the first member of your family to attend college is a big accomplishment. We are here to celebrate with you and help you navigate your journey at SAIC. SAIC has a nationally recognized first-gen program that connects first-gen students with faculty, staff, and each other.

We honor students who identify as being the first members of their family to attend college. View this letter of solidarity signed by many SAIC faculty and staff who identify as first-gen. First-gen students can also get involved through our annual first-gen celebration day or the First-Generation Fellows program! If you're a new first-gen student looking for information on orientation, check out our orientation website. We welcome you, we congratulate you, and we recognize you as an invaluable part of the SAIC community.


First-Generation Stories

Our community is filled with individuals who were the first in their family to go to college. Many of our students, faculty, and staff share the first-gen identity. Check out just a few stories from the community:

Student selecting cupcake at first-generation celebration day

First-Generation Celebration Day

On First-Generation Celebration Day, and every day, SAIC welcomes you, congratulates you, and recognizes your accomplishment of being the first in your family to attend college. On First-Generation Celebration Day, SAIC carries out several initiatives including tabling and promotion to make sure you know we are here for you.

First-Generation Fellows

“I couldn’t believe the support I received from being in the Fellows program. Being a Fellow gave me a helpful advantage at SAIC that has benefited me throughout my entire time here.”
–Leana Yonan, Former Fellow

The First-Generation Fellows program at SAIC provides a holistic engagement experience for SAIC’s incoming, first-generation students (meaning their parents or guardians did not graduate from college). The Fellows program aims to provide opportunities for students to engage with the campus community and learn the skills necessary to be successful in college and beyond. Some of these opportunities include:

  • Structured support from a faculty mentor and peer mentor.
  • On-campus employment coupled with intentional support and supervision.
  • Engagement opportunities with peers to increase a sense of belonging.
  • Regular workshops focused on accessing resources and achieving academic success.

These opportunities seek to help the Fellows feel connected to the community, engage in the academic, artistic and social experiences at SAIC and help when needed. Below are the some of the primary aspects of the program.

  • On Campus Employment– Students who work on campus are connected to a team of peers and a supervisor with knowledge of campus resources and feel more connected to the community.
  • Faculty and Peer Mentorship– Faculty mentors will work directly with Fellows to provide educational opportunities and student support. Peer mentors are a sophomore, junior, or senior first-gen student who assists Fellows in their transition to SAIC.
  • Community Engagement– Fellows will have multiple opportunities to connect with others who share their first-gen identity including gatherings, lunches, and peer mentorship groups.
  • Ongoing Education– Fellows attend multiple workshops throughout the academic year that focus on skill-building, professional development, and academic/artistic success.

Find info on the program staff here!