Eastern Michigan University has been accepted into the Center for First-Generation Student Success, recently receiving a forward designation from the organization. EMU will be part of the First-Gen Forward Cohort from June 2022 - May 2023.
The First-Gen Forward program gives EMU access to many resources to help with the success of first-gen students. These resources include professional development, knowledge creation and evidence-based practices. EMU will also integrate academic support and well-being programs, as well as host admission events and presentations for students and families.
EMU also plans to highlight programs such as the Holman Success Center, Student Support Services, the University Writing Center and more. Many of the resources that will be presented to first-gen students will not be exclusive to first-gen students; anyone who needs them will have access to them.
Since nearly one in four students attending EMU are first-generation, the university plans to create a cohort for first-generation students to come together.
“For all of us, it’s a passion project,” Dr. LaMarcus Howard, Director of the Disability Resource Center and Center for Adaptive Technology Education, said. “For me to have an opportunity to work on an initiative for first-generation students, like I said, to me, it’s a passion project because I am first-gen myself and it’s my goal to do whatever it takes to make sure our students here are successful because I identify with a lot of our students here too.”
Staff and faculty at EMU are eager to start the work that needs to be done to support first-gen students and faculty. Although EMU’s time in the First-Gen Forward cohort ends in May, it does not mean the support will end there.
“I am very excited about EMU's commitment to supporting first-generation students as a first-generation college student and first-generation professional myself,” Julia Heck, Associate Director of the Office of the Ombuds, said. “Being a part of an institution that has plans to support individuals who identify as first-gen personally resonates with me and creates excitement to be able to be a part of continuing to foster a community and culture of belonging here that values the strengths and lived experiences first-gen students bring to our campus.”