Asking for help can be daunting on a college campus—just ask any first-year student. But for those who are the first in their family to attend college and may lack the built-in familial support systems that other students might have, it may be hard to even identify who to ask. A new program at Hamline University (MN) is making it easier to know where to turn.
Hamline Firsts was launched in September 2016 to accommodate the growing number of these students at the university in recent years. Of 2016’s graduating class of 560, about 65 were first generation. And 35 percent of Hamline’s incoming first-year students for the past six years have been first generation. Designed to help them get off to a good start and be successful throughout their first year, the program provides a number of resources and connects students with Hamline faculty and staff who were first generation students themselves.
The university reaches out to students in middle and high school to outline the support services offered and remind them that a college education is possible. A scholarship is also available to first generation first-year students.
As part of its comprehensive plan, Hamline even produced a brochure for incoming first generation students, with helpful topics such as “Where Can I Go?” for on-campus resources like financial aid, counseling services and career development; school lingo; helpful phone numbers; and advice from faculty, staff and other first generation students. The most resounding bit of advice? “Do not be afraid to ask for help!”
See more about one student’s experience as a first generation student at Hamline here.
At a Glance:
ACE Member Institution: Hamline University
Program: Hamline Firsts
A first generation Hamline student can:
- Take advantage of all the opportunities Hamline provides, both in and out of the classroom.
- Set academic, professional, and personal goals.
- Seek campus resources to help them reach their full potential.
- Find a faculty or staff mentor.
Become a member: As a member of ACE, you join over 1,600 organizations that collectively promote, protect and advocate for students, faculty and administrators in higher education. ACE is the most visible and influential higher education association in the nation, and we are at the center of federal policy debates concerning legislation that affects campuses across the country. See more on the ACE website.
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