First Generation Advisory Board
The population of first-generation students has increased at the Mount with each passing year. Now there is a First-Generation Advisory Board to focus on this growing demographic of students.
On National First-Generation Student Day which is Nov. 8, the First-Generation Advisory Board kicked off its first series of events. There were Kahoot quizzes, a raffle, Chick-Fil-A and minute-to-win-it games for students to participate in. On Nov. 9 there was a faculty panel where faculty members who were first-generation students spoke to current first-generation undergraduate students. Both Dr. Bernard Franklin, Vice President of Student Life, and Boyd Creasman, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs spoke on this panel and answered questions the students had.
On Nov. 18 the first formal ceremony was held for first-generation students where a toast was given to first-generation students. Those a part of the First-Generation Advisory Board have many ideas for events in the future. Hannah Bossard (C’24) said, “In the future we hope to form mentors between first-generation students and faculty.”
The advisory board is more so to help transition first-year students whose parents had not graduated from a four-year university transition into college life. Yacine Toure (C’23) said, “The goal is to be a support system, because first-year students’ families don’t understand what they are going through.”
The board plans to eventually start meeting once a month and hold more events throughout the year to help first-generation students along their college journey.
Those a part of the First-Generation Advisory Board are first-generation students themselves and chose to be a part of the board to help students who are having the same experiences as they once had in past years.
Ebony Coby (C’23) said, “Our goal for first-generation students is to ensure that they know they are not alone and that they should be proud to be First Gen!”
Unlike students whose parents attended college, first-year first-generation students may have a difficult time navigating their way through the college process. Bossard noted, “I felt that for the simple questions I didn’t have anyone to go to and I didn’t understand things like what a registrar or provost was.” Having an advisory board gives students like Bossard a specific group to go to with any concerns they have. It is also a community where students can meet other students like themselves at events and create new friendships.
While first-generation students are highlighted at the Mount, they are often forgotten about after the first semester. Many first-generation students do not know why they must declare their major, who they are declaring their major to and are unaware of what classes they need to take in order to graduate on time. The advisory board was made in order to help and listen to any concerns that first-generation students have. It was made to exclusively help those students throughout their entire time while at the Mount.
First-generation students are encouraged to reach out to the advisory board and attend events held by the board.