First-Gen Living Learning Community is a Gateway, Family, Community and Army

First-generation college students face a myriad of unique obstacles; as the first people in their families to attend college, their experiences are inherently different from those of other students.  As such, the UK Office of First Generation Initiatives serves to support these students by addressing needs, skill sets and support mechanisms specific to first-gen students. 

“The major finding in my research that guides our office is that first-generation students lack the ‘college student role’ – the knowledge of how to make it in the system,” Matthew Deffendall, director of First Generation Initiatives, said.  “Even if you remove all other factors – socioeconomic, gender and ethnicity – just the fact that a student is a first generation puts that student at risk.  We develop programming to address this risk.” 

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