Ohio State named First-gen Forward Institution

Ohio State named First-gen Forward Institution

The Ohio State University has been named a First-gen Forward Institution by the Center for First-generation Student Success.

This designation recognizes Ohio State for demonstrating a commitment to improving experiences and advancing outcomes of students who are the first in their families to go to college.

Ohio State offers a number of programs to ensure that first-generation students have the resources they need to succeed. That programming includes Buckeyes First, an early arrival program that gives first-year, first-generation students a chance to become more familiar with campus and the Buckeye community while connecting with faculty, staff, peer leaders and other first-generation students. It also includes the Young Scholars Program, a comprehensive pre-college access and undergraduate student success program serving approximately 1,000 first-generation and low/moderate-income students from Ohio's nine largest urban school districts. In the past year, Ohio State students started the Buckeyes First Student Organization, which hosts a variety of events and meets regularly to discuss the academic and social transition to college for first-generation students.

“The Center is so pleased to welcome The Ohio State University into the 2020-21 cohort of First-gen Forward institutions. Through the application process, it was evident that Ohio State is not only taking steps to serve first-generation students but is prepared to make a long-term commitment and employ strategies for significant scaling and important advances in the future,” said Dr. Sarah E. Whitley, senior director of the Center for First-generation Student Success, an initiative of NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education and The Suder Foundation.

At Ohio State, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the Office of Student Academic Success and the Office of Student Life work closely with colleges and other departments across the university to support first-generation college students.

"At Ohio State, we consider the rich diversity of our students, faculty and staff to be both a defining characteristic and an essential source of our institutional strength," said Dr. James L. Moore, III, vice provost for Diversity and Inclusion and chief diversity officer at Ohio State. "And we're dedicated to helping a diverse student body, including first-generation college students, thrive."

"We're committed to supporting students who are the first in their families to go to college, and we're excited to join the First-gen Forward program so we can continue to provide those students with the tools they need to succeed academically throughout their entire academic journey," said Dr. Beth Hume, vice provost for Student Academic Success and the dean of Undergraduate Education at Ohio State.

"Our understanding that every student has a unique background and set of needs informs every program and service offered by our departments," said Dr. Melissa Shivers, vice president for Student Life at Ohio State. "And we're excited to join this effort and add more opportunities for first-generation students."

As a First-gen Forward Institution, Ohio State will be afforded multiple opportunities to engage with peer institutions that are also creating environments which improve the experiences and outcomes of first-generation students. Selected institutions will send representatives to the First-gen Forward Workshop to be held in Baltimore in June 2020 and will participate in monthly phone calls, virtual professional development, goal setting, blog development, annual reporting and more. After two successful years in the program, institutions are eligible to apply for the advisory leadership designation.

“First-gen Forward is an exciting opportunity for Ohio State to join an elite 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. We are excited to see a groundswell of activity from the First-gen Forward cohort and know Ohio State will be a significant contributor,” said Dr. Kevin Kruger, president and CEO of NASPA.

To learn more about first-generation efforts at Ohio State, visit fye.osu.edu/firstgen.html.