Tarleton recognized nationally for efforts to support first-generation students

STEPHENVILLE (September 10, 2019) — Tarleton State University has been selected by the Center for First-generation Student Success as a First Forward Institution for its commitment to improving experiences and advancing outcomes of first-generation college students.

The center is an initiative of NASPA-Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, formerly the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, and The Suder Foundation.

One of only seven Texas universities selected for the inaugural 80-member cohort, Tarleton will receive professional development, community-building experiences, and a first look at the center’s research and resources.

“First Forward underscores our belief that a successful experience is paramount for first-generation students to continue their education,” said Tarleton President James L. Hurley. “I am a first-generation graduate, so I personally understand the value and importance of a comprehensive university education. It’s the very vision of our founder, John Tarleton. When we provide opportunities for students to be the first in their families to earn a university degree, we live out that vision.”

More than 50 percent of Tarleton’s undergraduate students are first generation.

“We are so pleased to welcome Tarleton into our inaugural cohort of First Forward Institutions,” said Dr. Sarah Whitely, senior director of the Center for First-generation Student Success. “Through the application process, it was evident that Tarleton is not only taking steps to serve first-generation students, but is prepared to make a long-term commitment and employ strategies for significant advances in the future.”

Referring to first-generation students as trailblazers for their families, Hurley emphasized the university’s commitment to support them through their academic journey with mentoring, networking and scholarships.

“Providing and expanding the network of support and opportunities for Tarleton’s first-generation students is definitely a collaborative effort among students, faculty and staff,” added Gabriel Bermea, assistant vice president of Strategic Student Success Initiatives. “As a First Forward Institution, Tarleton plans to scale up campus-wide events, revamp its peer mentorship program, and create a faculty and staff first-generation network to ensure students receive the support they need to successfully complete their university education.”

To learn more about the Center for First-generation Student Success, visit www.firstgen.naspa.org.


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