Cracking the code on first-gen college student success
Could something as simple as success coaching level the playing field for first-generation college students?
A new program at UC San Diego that paired first-gen college students with peer and professional ‘success coaches’ boosted both grades and student satisfaction rates – becoming so successful that the campus is adding 400 participants in the coming year.
The coaching program is one of a number of innovative approaches being tested across the University of California system to ensure academic success among the growing number of students who are first in their families to attend college.
Over the last 15 years, the number of first-gen students at UC has almost doubled – from 48,000 in 2002 to more than 88,000 today. These college trailblazers now account for 42 percent of all undergraduates.
“Our perception has been, we’re a highly selective institution – our students will figure it out on their own,” said Lindsay Romasanta, director of student success programs at UC San Diego, part of a UC-wide coalition that shares best practices for serving first-generation students. “But the demographics of our students are changing, and it’s important we get ahead of the curve and give them the information that’s going to help them thrive.”
Homepage photo courtesy UC Irvine