April 2 conference focus: First-generation student success

By Steve Nakata, Administrative Services

First-Generation-Students-flag-detailPULLMAN, Wash. – Over 100 students have signed up to attend Washington State University’s inaugural uFirst! Conference on Saturday, April 2, on the Pullman campus.

Registration is free and open to undergraduate first-generation students; see https://orgsync.com/70163/forms/186410.

Students who attend at least five workshops, one in each subject area, as well as the opening and closing sessions will be awarded a First Generation Ambassador Certificate. They will also be eligible to win one of three mini-iPads, one of 10 $200 book scholarships and WSU apparel.

Some first-generation students at WSU.

Nearly 40 percent of WSU students are first-generation, meaning their parents have not earned a college degree, said Lucila Loera, assistant vice president for the Office for Access, Equity and Achievement. With support from the Suder Foundation, the office developed the conference as a way to educate first-generation students to achieve academic and personal success.

“These students are unable to receive a lot of advice about college from their families,” she said. “By organizing this conference, we want to share information with them that will help them achieve their dreams and let them know they are not alone in their journey.”

After her opening remarks at the conference, participants will attend workshops focused on financial management, academic success, professional development, health and wellness and campus engagement. J. Manuel Acevedo, director of WSU Multicultural Student Services, will provide closing comments emphasizing the importance of finding and using mentors.

“Our ultimate goal is not only to show students how to succeed in college and beyond, but also to improve their retention and graduation rates,” said Virginia Tavera-Delgado, assistant director of Multicultural Student Services and conference organizer.