Topic: Supporting First Generation Students
The future of higher education relies on creating opportunities for first generation students to advance the public good by attaining academic and psychosocial success. A cutting edge, academic-based initiative, the HP Narrative Project, promotes asset-based self-efficacy while integrating high-level writing skills in collaboration with MFA students to achieve this goal.
First-generation students, particularly students of color (e.g., African Americans and Latinos), encounter a myriad of obstacles in their pursuit of post-secondary education. Students report feelings of alienation and isolation leading to poor retention. For first-generation students, the sense of belonging fostered through faculty-student interactions can be a catalyst for college completion. Sense of belonging is defined as a basic human need and motivation sufficient unto itself to impact a student’s personal and social development and their academic success.