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Carolina Grad Student Firsts and Carolina Firsts celebrating National First-Gen College DayThe Graduate School provides opportunities and resources for our Carolina Grad Student F1RSTS to aid in their academic success and to build community.  We define Carolina Grad Student F1RSTS as those whose parent(s)/guardian(s) have not earned a Master’s or Doctoral degree.  We recognize that our graduate students come from a broad range of diverse educational experiences, with many first-generation graduate students also having been first-generation college students.  This initiative focuses on navigating academic culture as a graduate-level scholar and thriving as an advanced student.

Some of our activities include:

  • Orientation activities that specifically address acclimating to academic culture
  • Understanding mentor/mentee relationship dynamics
  • Learning to ask for help around the university
  • Learning to say “no”/ time management in academia
  • Adopting the professional or academic persona
  • Communicating your academic training to family and friends
  • Learning to ask questions you assume everyone already knows
  • Understanding funding basics
  • Maintaining your wellness while in graduate school
  • Tapping into and creating informal support networks
  • First-generation faculty panel discussion
  • First-Gen Fridays—social networking events
  • Student Advisory Board
Upcoming Events

Want to keep up to date on First-Gen Events & Info? E-mail to join the Carolina Grad Student F1RSTS listserv.


Center for First-generation Student Success First Forward Advisory
Carolina is part of the first cohort of institutions recognized by the Center for First-generation Student Success, an initiative of NASPA-Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education and The Suder Foundation.  Recognition as a First-gen Forward Advisory Institution comes because of the commitment to first-generation college student support by Carolina Grad Student F1RSTS and Carolina Firsts.

Additional Resources

The Carolina F1RSTS office supports undergraduate first-generation college students. Their office welcomes faculty, staff, and graduate students to become Carolina F1RSTS Advocates to serve as resources. Advocates trainings are offered throughout the academic year.

For more information, contact:
Maria Dykema Erb, Co-Director
Diversity & Student Success Program or (919) 966-2613