The Center for First-generation Student Success, an initiative of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) and The Suder Foundation to drive first-generation student success at the university level, has selected New York Institute of Technology as one of 76 new members of the First Scholars Network for the 2023–2024 academic year.
With New York Tech’s demonstrated commitment to improving experiences and advancing successful outcomes for first-generation college students, the university was eligible to be selected as a First Scholars Network member. Specialized orientation sessions and events, personalized first-year advisors and points of contact, representation across university publications, and professional development opportunities like on-campus jobs and mentorship programs are just some of the ways New York Tech strives to support its first-generation students.
“We are extremely honored to be selected as a First Scholars Network member by the Center for First-generation Student Success,” says Associate Provost of Student Engagement and Development Tiffani Hinds, M.Ed. “We look forward to accessing resources, information, best practices, and innovative ideas that will help us to enhance our resources and support of our first-generation students.”
The First Scholars Network is a four-phase approach allowing institutions of higher education to advance student success through establishing communities of practice, gaining knowledge of resources, and establishing peer networks. New York Tech is now part of this more than 350-strong network of universities.
“The center is pleased to welcome New York Tech into the First Scholars Network,” says Sarah E. Whitley, Ph.D., vice president of the Center for First-generation Student Success. “It is evident that New York Tech is not only taking steps to serve first-generation students but is prepared to make a long-term commitment and employ strategies that foster an environment of success for this important population.”
In this first phase, selected institutions participated in the First Scholars Network Virtual Kick-off on June 2. As a network member, faculty and staff are afforded opportunities to engage with peer institutions also working to create environments that improve the experiences and success of first-generation students and will participate in monthly calls, professional development, goal setting, blog development, annual reporting, and more.
After successful completion of the Network Member phase, institutions progress to the second phase, First-gen Forward, after which it is eligible to become a First Scholars Institution. First Scholars is the third phase and serves as the Center for First-generation Student Success’ customized approach to intentional institutional transformation to advance student outcomes. Ultimately, all Network institutions strive for national leadership as a First Scholars Champion Campus.
“Being named as a network member of the First Scholars Network is an exciting opportunity for New York Tech to join a dedicated community of professionals prepared to share evidence-based practices and resources, troubleshoot challenges, generate knowledge, and continue to advance the success of first-generation students across the country,” says Kevin Kruger, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of NASPA.