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A member of The Texas State University System


Our Career Services for You We will provide individual career counseling while being respectful of your unique status as a first-generation student. Our career assessment tools can help you understand how your skills, interests, personality traits, and work values relate to your career choice and direction. By using our expansive career resource library, you can focus on the information that best relates to your academic and career options. We can also direct you to advising centers and other student support services that can be helpful to you as a first-generation college student.


How Common are First Generation College Students? Across the United States, approximately 28 percent of undergraduates and 40 percent of all enrolled students are classified as first-generation. At Texas State University, approximately 42 percent of enrolled students have parents who have not yet earned a four-year degree; 16 percent of students have parents who have never attended college.

First Generation Students at Texas State Founded in 2000, the First Generation Student Organization, was the first of its kind in the nation. FGSO targets issues specific to first-generation students and offers them an informational and support group. FGSO offers several events and activities. There are no dues. For more information about FGSO, please contact the Multicultural Student Affairs office at 512.245.2278.


Career Challenges A lack of college-level role models and mentors may hamper some firstgeneration students’ understanding of what it takes to succeed in college. Reality Testing: The following are ways to test your Consequently, lower retention and “reality,” in essence to try on different jobs and see graduation rates are more prevalent if they would be a good fit. among the first-generation student population. Consider an internship or job shadowing experience

What’s that like?

to gain hands-on, marketable experience!

Academic preparation for college may suffer fordoing these students. Also, support Think about study abroad for a semester. for planning and sustaining a college Also, try to learn a foreign language. education may be lacking. Some firstgeneration students feel alone Participate in events and dotovolunteer work.and Take overwhelmed by the process. class projects seriously. Gain experience. Always seek an internship First-generation students may feelto gain valuable work experience, in addition to tension between family responsibilities establishing contacts with and the demands ofpotential higher employers. education.

There may also be conflict within their

Continue to explore options, networking with family as to their career choices. Asany a and all professionals in your field. Join LinkedIn, an result, some students can feel guilty for online networking site thateducation. will help you rub elbows pursuing a college with employers.

Some first-generation students may not

Think about getting a part-time job that will give know about the formal and informal “ins you the skills that will transfer to a career.

and outs” of higher education, such as financial aid (funds that help you attend Again, get involved. Obtain leadership positions in college), campus resources, and organizations. Learn teamwork, problem-solving campus activities. and communication skills. Take on a key role in events and volunteer activities.

First-generation students may also need assistance with the career choice process and the steps necessary to set career goals.


Career Strengths First-generation students while equally as intelligent as non-first generation students, are sometimes more motivated to accomplish degree goals and overcome obstacles such as poverty, support inadequacies, and possible institutional barriers. Most first-generation students work hard to reach their goals. They work hard in class and dedicate themselves to their academic success. Overall, first-generation students have developed a strong and unrelenting spirit to overcome obstacles to persist and ensure a brighter future. Students who are first-generation may even be more willing to take on the risks involved in pursuing a degree and a career, and they feel a special of pride at being the first in the family to graduate from college.


What is a First Generation College Student? A first-generation student is someone whose parents either did not graduate from, or did not attend, a four year college.

LBJSC - 5-7.1 601 University Drive San Marcos, TX 78666-4616 Phone: 512.245.2645 www.careerservices.txstate.edu careerservices@txstate.edu

Other Texas State University Collaborators

Multicultural Student Affairs Counseling Center

This information is available in alternate format upon request from the Office of Disability Services.

First Generation Career Support  

A brochure with information for first generation students.

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