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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, thriving as an advanced student, and building community.

Stephanie Medina-Molina participates in a welcome event while Kathy Wood and Yesenia Pedro Vicente look on.
Stephanie Medina-Molina participates in a welcome event while Kathy Wood and Yesenia Pedro Vicente look on.

How We Create Student Success

  • Orientation – acclimating to academic culture
  • Understanding mentor/mentee relationship
  • Learning to ask for help
  • Communicating your academic training to family and friends
  • Learning to ask questions you assume everyone already knows
  • Understanding funding basics
  • Tapping into and creating informal support networks
  • First-generation faculty panel discussion
  • First-Gen Fridays—social networking events

 

First-Gen Forward Advisory Institution

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.

I wasn’t aware of support for first-generation students at the universities where I did my undergraduate and master’s degrees so appreciate that UNC-Chapel Hill recognizes and supports us.