Helping first-generation students thrive

August 8, 2018

Colleges and university need to make first-generation students feel supported, but not coddled, writes Ross O’Hara. The narrative of the first-gen experience as a burden continues to persist, according to O’Hara, and this narrative can be reversed by showing students how their experience can be perceived as a strength. Additionally, first-gen students might not always know where or how to seek academic help, a problem that can then manifest as poor time management or an inability to engage with faculty. The author cites a pilot project that gave 137 first-gen students the opportunity to develop their skills through an intensive, six-week program. Finally, O’Hara states, first-gen students transitioning into college can benefit from mentorship from older students. Psychology Today