First-Generation College Student Initiatives
I am proud to spotlight the Division of Student Affairs support of First-Generation College Student Initiatives at Cal State Fullerton.
As an institution, Cal State Fullerton has thousands of first-generation students who can benefit from strong faculty and staff support systems. These same students can also find value by being in community with other first-generation students. Our hope is that this webpage will serve as a resource to connect “first-gen” students with faculty, staff and other students as well as highlight events throughout the academic year.
Thank you for taking the time and showing interest in the first-generation student population. It means more than you may know. Be well, be joyous!
Division of Student Affairs
College Student Defined
Some may be asking, what exactly is a first-generation college student? The answer is simple: A first-generation college student is defined as someone who is the first in their family to attend or graduate from college. You are still considered first-generation if you meet at least one of the following criteria:
- Your parent(s)/guardian(s) went to a trade school.
- Your parent(s)/guardian(s) went to a community college and took classes.
- Your parent(s)/guardian(s) went to a community college and have an Associate’s degree.
- Your sibling(s) graduated from a four-year university.
- Your parent(s)/guardian(s) received a four-year degree in another country.
Join us throughout the year in celebrating by participating in various First-Gen events on campus or on social media. Use the hashtags #CSUFfirstgen, #FirstGenTitans, #FirstGenWeek or #CelebrateFirstGen and tag @CSUFstudents to show us how you celebrate.
College Student Week
On November 8 each year, universities across the nation celebration National First-Generation College Student Week. This date was selected for the annual celebration to honor the anniversary of the signing of the Higher Education Act of 1965.
The Higher Education Act (“HEA”) emerged out of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty. Much like other hallmark legislation of that era, such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, HEA was intended to help level a playing field that for too long had been weighed against Americans from minority and low-income backgrounds.
Along with creating federal grants and loan programs to help students finance their educations, the legislation made key investments in institutions of higher education. Additionally, HEA ushered in programs, particularly the Federal TRIO programs, necessary for postsecondary access, retention, and completion for low-income, potential first-generation college graduates. (via firstgen.naspa.org)
First-Gen Week Programming Fall 2022
Career Center Programming
Led by the Career Center at Cal State Fullerton, the "I Am First…" program was developed to equip first-generation college students with the confidence, self-awareness, and career readiness knowledge tp jumpstart into a successful journey towards achieving career and leadership development. Moreover, the "I Am First..." program offers a first-generation college student/professional network that provides support beyond the university experience.
Connect with the Career Center
Open Mondays - Fridays, 8am - 5pm
Location: Langsdorf Hall - 208
Phone: (657) 278-3121
College of the Arts Programming
"I am FIRST. I am an ARTIST" is a program designed to support first-generation college students explore career options, meet artists in the fields of visual arts, music, dance, and theatre as well as getting connected to campus resources that will help students reach their personal and professional goals. The program connects students to campus resources, including the Career Center, to ensure that students have every opportunity to polish their professional skills and prepare to launch a successful career in the arts. It also serves as a resource for first-generation undergraduate students and their families/communities.
Department Spotlight: Supporting First-Generation Titans
Abrego Future Scholars
The Abrego Future Scholars Program provides financial and academic support for students during their first year of studies at California State University, Fullerton, awarding up to fifty $1,500 scholarships to first-time freshman and first-time transfer students. Additionally, the program helps facilitate the transition to college for meritorious students who have been disadvantaged due to their economic, environmental, or educational background.
Educational Opportunity Program
For 50 years Cal State Fullerton has collaborated with the State of California to provide financial and academic support to students through the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP). Each year, EOP at CSUF admits a new class of up to 500 individuals—first time freshman and transfer students—whose families are challenged by economic barriers and who need admissions and/or counseling services to succeed in college. EOP provides access to higher education for those students who demonstrate potential and who, without EOP support, may be unable to earn a college degree. Additionally, EOP at CSUF offers pre-admission counseling, admission assistance, referrals for tutorial learning, career guidance, financial aid advisement, and other student services.
Tuffy's Graduation Scholars
The Tuffy's Graduation Scholars (TGS) program was a four-year degree completion program established to support a Fall 2019 cohort of first-time students. The TGS program was designed to support academic success and graduation goals by providing students with a unique opportunity to connect with their peers with similar academic interests, access to advisers, while building a sense of community and recognizing them as a scholar! Tuffy's Graduation Scholars received personalized and comprehensive advising support throughout their journey as a Cal State Fullerton student. From Orientation to Graduation the TGS staff were there to help scholars navigate academic processes, major requirements, and the campus community. Scholars received help with opportunities to get involved in leadership, internships, student employment, service to community, career opportunities, and more.
TRIO Student Support Services
TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) is a federally funded program that is housed within the Student Academic Services Unit of Student Affairs. TRIO SSS serves students who are first generation and/or low-income and/or have a disability to successfully graduate with their bachelor's degree. Furthermore, the program provides academic and other support services to encourage the holistic development of our students from first time enrollment through graduation from Cal State Fullerton.