First-generation UCI faculty prepared to support students facing the same challenges they once overcame include (from left) Davin Phoenix, Anita Casavantes Bradford, Manoj Kaplinghat, David Igler and Glenda Flores. Steve Zylius / UCI
ROY RIVENBURG, JANET WILSON AND PAT HARRIMAN / UCI
Beginning in 2014, the First-Generation Faculty (FGF) Initiative was founded under the auspices of the UCI Department of Undergraduate Education (DUE). The FGF is a collaborative faculty network, comprised of professors of all ranks in all of UC Irvine’s schools/departments, who self-identify as first-generation college students or as advocates of our first generation student population.
The First Generation Faculty Initiative hosts events twice yearly lunch workshops, in fall and spring quarter.
In support of this First-Generation Faculty Initiative, faculty members work together in order to:
- Raise positive awareness about the strong presence of first generation students, who represent approximately sixty percent of undergraduate students at the University of California Irvine.
- Foster a campus climate that welcomes first generation students, acknowledges and works to overcome the challenges they face in their pursuit of academic success and wellbeing, and celebrates their work ethic, perseverance, and accomplishments.
- Provide information and encouragement to first generation students in identifying and making strategic use of support services currently available on campus, through the office of Student Support Services, the Transfer Student Center, as well as the Cross-Cultural Center, SOAR center, and other student-led organizations.
- Create spaces for faculty-initiated discussion about how department- and school-specific policies and practices can best facilitate first- generation students’ academic success and wellbeing, and to encourage department and School level initiatives to support “First- Generation” students.