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First Generation

Building community among first generation students, faculty, alumni and staff

Emporia State First Gen students bowling

The formal definition of a first-generation college student is a student whose parents did not complete a four-year college degree. At Emporia State University, we like to also include any student who may self-identify as not having knowledge of how to navigate college. For example, if a parent attended a four-year college in a different educational system outside of the United States; if a student has only had close contact to people with minimal college experience; if a student and/or parent feel that they are unfamiliar with college life — these are diverse ways in which students might identify as a first-generation college student.

There are many students, faculty, teaching staff, alumni, and other staff members at ESU who were the first in their family to graduate college. In fact, you can find someone who is first generation working in almost every office, department, or lab on campus. They can answer questions, provide perspective, and talk about their experience as first-generation students.

What we offer

  • Networking with other first-generation students, faculty, and alumni
  • Peer mentor program
  • Community service opportunities
  • Programs and Events each semester

Students celebrating during Welcome Week

Get back on track

We know many of you have been having a challenging semester. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, unsure of what to do next or generally lost we have created a page of links to help you get the answers you need. If you're always procrastinating, not going to class, scared of Canvas – the time is now to reach out.

Student Success

First Generation Videos

Learn what being a First-Generation student and faculty member means by watching our videos on YouTube.

Student at commencement

First Generation Student Resources

Find helpful resources designed just for First Generation College Students

Plumb Hall Aerial

First Generation Advisory Council

Meet the members

Advisory Council
Students talking during roundtable discussion

Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to your questions as a first-generation college student

Frequently Asked Questions

Contact Information

Kathy Landwehr