I am First, I am an Artist logo

Are You a First-Generation College Student?

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. First-generation college students are individuals whose parent(s)/guardian(s) have not completed a bachelor’s degree. 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.

We strive to prepare students for their academic and post-graduation success through various programs and services. It is our mission to recognize and celebrate first-generation college students and what they bring with them to the university in an attempt to foster an environment that will allow them to thrive. The College of the Arts is proud of its first-generation college students and is committed to their success.

Spring 2022 Event CalendarPDF File Opens in new window


  • Receive an I am FIRST. I am an ARTIST. t-shirt
  • Priority General Education (GE) advising with a college specialist
  • Exclusive invitations to on-campus networking events such as exhibitions and theatre productions
  • Information about on and off-campus internships and study abroad opportunities
  • Scholarship Opportunity - A $500 stipend will be awarded to 2 recipients who complete program requirements
  • Clifton StrengthsFinder ($18 value)
  • End of the Year Celebration


  • College of the Arts Major
  • First-Year Student (Freshman)
  • Identify as a First-Generation College Student

Program Requirements

  1. Requires a one-year commitment (August 2021 – May 2022)
  2. Attend a program overview session in August
  3. Meet with the Retention Specialist once a semester
  4. Meet with the Career Specialist once during the academic year
  5. Meet with the Assistant Dean once during the academic year
  6. Attend one academic success workshop
  7. Attend one career planning and preparation workshop
  8. Attend one predetermined college-based networking event

First-Gen Facts

  • In the fall 2020 first-year class, 150 College of the Arts students reported that they are first-generation college students, comprising 6.3% of the freshman class.
  • In fall 2020, TBA College of the Arts faculty reported that they were first-generation college students. List coming soon
  • In 2019, more than 42% first-generation college students graduated from the College of the Arts.
  • In fall 2020, 22% of College of the Arts students reported that they are first-generation college students
  • In 2019-2020, 30% of CSUF students reported that they are first-generation college students

For additional questions regarding the I Am FIRST. I am an ARTIST. program contact Assistant Dean Maricela Alvarado.

Resources for Parents and Families
We are thrilled your student has chosen the College of the Arts at CSUF. We want you to know that there are numerous resources on campus to support your student’s academic, personal, and social development. If you have questions or want to talk to someone about the program, please feel free to contact Assistant Dean Alvarado (bi-lingual English/Spanish) by email at malvarado@fullerton.edu or by phone at 657-278-3255.

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Last Published 4/4/22

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