Friday, December 8, 2023

First-Gen Fest celebrates first-generation UTSA students

First-Gen Fest celebrates first-generation UTSA students

NOVEMBER 7, 2022 — UTSA is joining institutions across the country this week in celebrating its first-generation student population by hosting First-Gen Fest. Organized by the UTSA First-Generation & Transfer Student Programs (FGTSP) office in collaboration with other areas across the university, the festival takes place Monday, November 7 through Friday, November 11 and includes a series of events for students, faculty and staff that support, empower and celebrate first-generation students.

First-generation college students are a core part of the Roadrunner community, representing nearly half (45%) of UTSA’s student population. The university’s first-generation and transfer student programs are nationally recognized.

In 2019, FGTSP was designated a “Program to Watch” by Excelencia in Education. That same year, the Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA) named UTSA a top university for its programming efforts to create a supportive and empowering campus for first-generation and transfer students.

Students who are the first in their family to go to college have an advantage at UTSA to connect with a strong support network and academic support programs so they can confidently chart their path toward graduation. Programs include First to Go and Graduate (F2G&G), First-Gen STEM Scholars, First-Gen Living & Learning Community and the First-Gen Second Year Experience.

As a result of these programs and other student success initiatives, UTSA has seen substantial gains in first-gen student graduate rates and degrees awarded over the past five years. The six-year graduation rate has increased 14%, from 37% in 2017 to 51% in 2022. Additionally, the number of degrees awarded annually to first-gen students has increased 15%, from 2,215 in 2017 to 2,539 in 2022.

“UTSA is proud to recognize the resiliency, unique experiences and outcomes of our first-gen students,” said Tammy Wyatt, vice provost for student success. “These trailblazers are charting a new path to change the trajectory of their lives and that of their families and communities and it is an honor to be at a university that wholly supports them.”

The Roadrunner community is invited to celebrate National First-Gen Celebration Day from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, November 8 at Central Plaza on UTSA Main Campus. This signature event will include prizes, food, games and activities to celebrate our first-gen students, faculty and staff. 

⇒ Share your experiences at First-Gen Fest on social media using the hashtags #FirstGenUTSA, #FirstGenFest22, #FirstGenOrgullo, and #CelebrateFirstGen
Learn more about the National First-Generation College Celebration initiative.

Other events include a career exploration workshop, a first-gen family social, sessions dedicated to exploring first-gen identity and first-gen veteran identity, a holistic health day with wellness activities, and a workshop about generational wealth.

UTSA hosts First-Gen Fest in conjunction with National First-Generation College Celebration Day, which falls on or around November 8 each year to acknowledge and elevate first-generation college students. First-Gen Fest has been held annually at UTSA since 2017.

KC Gonzalez

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