Risa Stein, Ph.D., professor of psychology and first-generation college student, encourages students to seek mentors and fellow first-generation students at Rockhurst.
Speaking from her own experience, Haskins says that being a first-generation student can often feel as if one has each foot in separate worlds: one with family and one with school. Both worlds offer valuable learning opportunities that should be embraced. “It’s not all about the responsibility of being a first-generation student,” said Risa Stein, Ph.D., professor of psychology and first-generation college student. “It’s about growing as a person.” Stein hopes that students at Rockhurst pursue mentors for guidance and fellow first-generation students for camaraderie. A growing number of first-generation students are discovering success in higher education due to a combination of self-efficacy, social integration and college programs. To support first-generation Rockhurst students, Success Coach Ashley Halter has championed RU First, an organization that provides resources to help students navigate first-time college logistics like applying for financial aid, registering for classes and getting involved in campus organizations. But the primary focus of RU First is connecting, belonging and celebrating each of Rockhurst’s first-generation students, says Halter.
of first-generation students attend public institutions. Source: National Center for Education Statistics
% of first-
generation students are low-income. Source: Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA
“Being a first-generation student isn’t a deficit or something to be hidden, but rather a strength and place of pride. A true pioneer spirit. They are adventuring into the unknown and this is something to be celebrated,” said Halter. “We welcome them – and all of their experience and knowledge – into our community with open arms.”
The magazine for Rockhurst University.