First-Generation Student Celebration


Bay College First-Gen Week

Bay College and TRIO Student Support Services is planning to celebrate and honor the accomplishments of first-generation college students during the week of April 11, 2022. Throughout the week, students, faculty and staff are invited to participate in a variety events and activities that raise awareness about first-generation programming and resources at the college.

“We created a week of activities that honor the first-generation college experience, while offering students the opportunity to have some fun and recharge their battery for the final stretch of the semester,” states TRIO-SSS Director, Amy Gibbs.  Activities include Art Night in the Bay College Library, a Famous First-Generation Scavenger Hunt; a presentation by USA Olympic Gold Medalist, Nick Baumgartner; an Academic Achievement Dinner, and a Bowling Social Event.  Throughout the week, the campus community is also invited to show their support by wearing buttons to signify if they are a first-generation student or advocate.  “We want our students to take pride and ownership in their first-generation status, empower them to seek resources and build connections, and help our community recognize how special it is to be first-gen,” says TRIO-SSS Assistant Director, Erica Mead.

First-generation college students are defined as students whose parent or legal guardian does not have a bachelor’s degree.  “Taking the time to celebrate first-generation students also allows us to shed light on some specific challenges that these students face,” says Gibbs.  According to the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators’ (NASPA) Center for First-Generation Student Success, in their freshman year of college, first-generation students are more likely to use financial aid services than continuing-generation students (students who have at least one parent with a bachelor’s degree or higher).  First-gen students are also less likely to use other student support services such as academic advising and career services.  Over half of first-generation students are also the first of their siblings to seek higher education.  “We strive to provide students with the extra support needed to build skills, adapt to expectations, identify resources, and make informed choices,” says Gibbs.

TRIO-SSS peer mentor Erin Stevenson, has experienced the impact of first-generation programming at Bay College.  “TRIO has been instrumental in my student experience.  They’ve helped me with academic planning and study skills; preparation for my future career as a teacher through building a resume, interview practice, and employment as a tutor and peer mentor; and even school-life balance through time management skill-building and fun activities that alleviate some of the stress of being a full-time student.  TRI0 inspires me to keep pushing even when I feel like giving up.  I want other students at the college to benefit from their services and know how powerful being first-gen can be.”

Bay College is committed to student success and the TRIO-SSS program on campus specializes in serving first-generation students.  TRIO-SSS at Bay is a federally grant-funded, Student Support Services program whose mission is to help students who are underrepresented in higher education persist, obtain an associate’s degree, and/or transfer to a 4-year institution by providing them support, guidance and opportunities.

For more information about TRIO SSS or our First-Generation Celebration, please contact us by phone (906) 217-4133, or by email at trio_FROM_BAY_COLLEGE.

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