In previous blog posts, we’ve talked about how the transition to college can be difficult for first generation students.  There are plenty of obstacles – financial,  logistical and otherwise. But, in his article, Geri Coleman Tucker explores some of the exciting ways that colleges across the country are helping to make first-gen students feel like a part of the community, while also helping them stay on track towards college completion.

Not surprisingly, one of our college partners was mentioned as a school that is leading the way! Franklin and Marshall College ‘s F&M College Prep Program invites roughly 70 students from around the country to get a taste of college life and college courses. Students attend classes taught by  F&M professors,  and learn to complete a research project. The program is designed to help low income students feel comfortable and situated on a college campus before they even start college.

Meanwhile, at Claflin University, the Learning in Communities for Success LinCs program was created to help first generation students through the often-stressful freshman year experience.  The LinCs students take special courses to help them prepare for college life, and learn the kind of  tips and skills that non first-gen students might learn from family members or older friends.

At I’m First, we’re excited that so many colleges have created programs designed to aid first-gen students during this time of transition. Many of our college partners have similar types of programs in place, aimed at helping first-gens feel comfortable and acclimated to campus. Using our college search tool,  students can  see whether the schools they are interested in have similar programs for first-gen students.

What are some other ways that colleges can help students? Do you know of certain colleges or universities that are devising similar programs aimed at first-gens?