Fostering Support for First-Generation College Students Requires Varied Initiatives

Universities across the nation are recognizing the unique challenges faced by first-generation students – those who are the first in their family to attend college. For these students, the path to higher education can be fraught with obstacles, both anticipated and unforeseen. Often coming from backgrounds without pre-existing knowledge about the collegiate system, these students must forge their own trails, overcoming hurdles that their peers with college-educated parents might not encounter.

Yet, they often bring with them a resilience and a fresh perspective that can be a significant advantage in their academic journey. Despite the common label of ‘first-gen,’ the population is incredibly diverse, spanning different racial, geographical, and socioeconomic backgrounds. These experiences add a depth of perspective to campus communities, fostering a richer understanding among all students.

For an episode of “Tuesdays With Morrissey,” Micah Johnson, the Associate Director for University of Miami’s Empower Me First program, is someone who is deeply embedded in supporting this demographic and shared his experience in leading a program geared towards helping first-generation students.

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