From financial aid and course registration to unusual terminology like “registrar” and “provost,” the college experience can be intimidating and difficult to navigate. It’s even harder for first-generation students, who don’t have college graduates in their families that they can go to for guidance and advice. New and expanded programming at Ithaca College aims to support first-gen students throughout their time on campus.
The First Generation Center is supported by a fund established by Ithaca College Board of Trustees Chair Dave Lissy ’87 and his wife Suzanne Lissy ’88, through the Lissy Family Foundation. It will be located within the Office of New Student and Transition Programs. Among the programming offered by the center is the FIRST Look pre-orientation program, FIRST Place residential learning community and year-round programming focused on academic preparedness and time management, as well as a lecture series and leadership development opportunities.
IC’s efforts to assist first-gen students have already earned plaudits, as the college was recently designated a “First Forward” institution by the Center for First-Generation Student Success. The First Forward designation recognizes institutions of higher education that have demonstrated a commitment to improving experiences and advancing outcomes of first-generation college students.
“Ithaca is at the forefront of what colleges and universities are doing with regard to this work,” said Jacqueline Winslow, director of new student and transition programs, who currently oversees programming for first-gen students.