Showing First Generation Students the Way Forward: ATU’s First Gen Institute

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Tech News Summary:

  • The First Generation Institute at Arkansas Tech University is helping high school students become the first in their families to attend college. The program offers rising seniors a preview of college life, academic opportunities, ways to finance their education, and ways to participate outside of the classroom.
  • The 2023 ATU First Generation Institute took place from June 6-8 and had 26 rising high school seniors in attendance. During the closing ceremony, participants shared their positive experiences with staff member Deidra Dillard.
  • Programs like ATU’s First Generation Institute break down barriers and provide access to education for low-income or underrepresented students who might not otherwise have it. Initiatives like this are critical to providing the necessary resources and support to make attending college a reality.

ATU First Gen Institute: Showing Students the Path Forward

The Arkansas Tech University First Generation Institute (ATUFGI) is taking strides to ensure that first-generation students are not left behind and given the tools necessary for success.

The ATUFGI provides academic-based resources, leadership opportunities, and social support, to help first-generation college students achieve their goals. With the first-generation population in Arkansas being one of the highest in the nation, the institute prides itself on assisting those that may face unique challenges and situations.

One of the significant initiatives of the ATUFGI is the First-Year Experience program, which provides a smooth transition process from high school to college. The program offers weekly seminars, academic coaching, and peer mentors to help first-year students navigate the new environment.

Moreover, the institute offers financial aid workshops and resources to assist students with the financial burden of college. The team works with students to coordinate scholarship opportunities and provides guidance on the FAFSA application process.

The ATUFGI reinforces that being a first-generation student can be an advantage rather than a setback. The institute provides leadership opportunities, such as the First-Generation Mentorship Program, which allows students to mentor and make connections with those in a similar situation.

The institute acknowledges that while attending college can be challenging, it is crucial to maintain a life outside of academics. Therefore ATUFGI arranges social support events, such as First-Generation Movie Nights, recognizing that social engagement enhances academic success.

Overall, the Arkansas Tech University First Generation Institute has contributed significantly to advancing the educational achievements of first-generation college students. As the institute continues to grow and develop, it promises to serve as a valuable resource for students trying to navigate their path forward.

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