First-Generation College Day

First-Gen College Celebration Day

at Southwestern Oregon Community College

First-Gen College Celebration Day

The concept of “first-generation” students was introduced into federal policy by the TRIO community in 1980, during the passage of the Higher Education Amendments to the Higher Education Act of 1965. Yet, even today, campuses and communities are too often blind to the academic capabilities and gifts that lie dormant within so many first-generation students. TRIO educators continue to be called upon to highlight the return on investment our country receives from providing first-generation students with an opportunity to reach their full potential through college.


In November 2017, the Council for Opportunity in Education’s Board, in partnership with the Center for First-generation Student Success of NASPA-Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, asked college access and success professionals to join TRIO programs across the country for the First Annual First-Generation College Celebration on November 8, 2017 — the Anniversary of the Higher Education Act.

The 2017 First-Generation College Celebration was such a success, that the Council for Opportunity in Education (COE) and the Center for First-Generation Student Success of NASPA-Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education have decided to make it an annual event.


Please click here for more information on the celebration and the Center for First-Generation Student Success,

How to

Possible ways to participate in the celebration include:


  • Campus rallies featuring notable first-generation alumni as well as other speakers


  • Panel discussions and forums featuring remarks by first-generation college students and faculty who were first-generation about their college experiences


  • Incorporation of first-generation faculty experiences into classroom discussions


  • Listening sessions by administration and faculty about first-generation students’ experiences and needs on campus


  • Creation of multimedia materials (including video messages) of first-generation students for use in admissions and faculty development sessions


  • Interviews with trustees, administrators, and faculty who are first-generation
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