First Generation College Student Advising Community

Welcome!  This community was first formed as interest group in April 2001 to identify and address issues pertaining to first-generation college students (first gens). Ongoing discussions focus on the definition of terms, ways of identifying first-generation students, and concerns particular to these students. 

This community welcomes your input.  If you are interested in joining our LISTSERV to engage in discussions concerning first-generation college students, click here, or to join our Facebook page and network with other first-gen advising professionals and share ideas, research, and more, click here.

We are launching a few initiatives to our FGAC Steering Committee master schedule in hopes of continuing to engage members.
1) FGAC Spotlight -highlighting advisor's, educator's and practitioner's professional development opportunities and campus programs or involvement focused on First Gen Students. This will run on a quarterly basis.
2) Thoughtful Thursdays on our Facebook group page will highlight articles, resources, research, studies, programs and campus initiatives supporting First Gen Students. This will run weekly.

NASPA First Generation Student Success Conference

June 26-29, 2022
Hilton Baltimore Inner Harbor, Baltimore, MD
Call for Proposals Closed
Program Questions, email NASPA SSHE Team 
Early Registration Ends April 13, 2022, Click Here
Registration Questions

First Gen Friday

Mark your calendars for the first Friday of every month as we continue our First Gen Fridays throughout the year with guest speakers and exciting discussions!

May 6: The Many Faces of First Generation Students
Joic the First-Generation Advising Community in a discussion to define first-generation college students, discuss barriers to success, and conduct a deeper dive into the support systems that are available to first-generation college students. Facilitator: Claude Taylor, Monmouth University Register here. 

June 3: First Scholars Program
Join us to learn more about the First Scholars program committed to closing the graduation gap between first-generation students and their continuing generation peers. Presenter: Kylie Moody, Kansas State University Register here. 

July 1: Open Discussion
Bring your coffee, tea, or whatever you drink in the morning and joind the First Generation Advising Community for an open discussion about any topic on First Gen Students. Facilitator: Sandra Avalos, Kansas State University. Register here. 

August 5: First Generation Student Organizations
Come one, Come all to discuss our campus' First Generation Organizations and learn about ideas to start an organization on your campus. If you have an organization you would like to highlight, please email Sandra Avalos at to be put on the agenda. Facilitator: Sandra Avalos, Kansas State University Register here. 

September 2: Supporting Parents of First Generation Students
Come join the First Generation Advising Community in an open discussion to exchange information about resources that may currently be in use, and to address some concerns and challenges surrounding support for parents of first-gen students. Depending on the size of the group, breakout rooms will be utilized. Presenter: Megan Chiavini, University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth

Fill out our First Gen Advising Community Survey 

 We would like to hear from you! Fill out our FGAC survey. Member's feedback is encouraged throughout the academic year as we continue to meet the goals of this community. If you are interested in being involved and serving on the steering committee, please contact Sandra Avalos at (

Want to Contribute an Idea to our Community?

Fill out our Communication Member Engagement Survey to learn how members are reaching us and what other better ways we can engage and serve our members. Communications subcommittee will  review and monitor the responses and make appropriate considerations and we will get back to you as quickly as we can.

To learn more about current Chair, Sandra Avalos, please read Bio! 

Past First Generation Virtual Recordings

NACADA First Generation Advising Community Writing A Conference Proposal Workshop
Friday, February 11, 2022
Presented by Research Subcommittee, Team Lead Jackie Thomas-Miller
NACADA Region 5: "How To Write A Conference Proposal" presented by Sara Howard

Master Class Virtual Session for Student Affairs Professionals who work with First Generation Students sponsored by Circle of Change Leadership
Higher Education advising professionals who work with first gen students share a variety of strategies and best practices as well as professional development resources to use to position their students for personal, academic, leadership, and career success. 

Circle of Change Leadership Experience First Generation Student Spotlight Series
During the COC First Gen Career Conference in November, seven first generation student professionals participated in a video interview sharing their collegiate and professional experience and insights as a first generation student. 

Insights From First-Gen Students Virtual Event Recording
Hosted by The Chronicle of Higher Education
Monday, December 13, 2021, 2 p.m. EST

The Lessons from Making First Gen a Priority Recording

Hosted by The Chronicle of Higher Education
Tuesday, November 9, 2021, 2 p.m. EST

First-Gen Scholars Book Publishing Webinar 
Hosted by UC Press & UC Collaborative of Humanities Centers & Institutes
Jan. 21, 2022 - 12 - 2 p.m. PST
Panel discussion to help first-gen scholars learn about the book publishing process.
Webinar Recording 
Webinar Resource Links: 

First Generation Symposium
Flying First, First-Generation Symposium 
Hosted by Rowan University
Wednesday & Thursday, Feb 2 -3, 2021 
Click here for more information about sessions, guest speakers
Symposium session recordings, Click Here


WNYAdvising Annual Conference
Wednesday, February 16, 2022 from 9 a.m. -3:30 p.m. EST
Virtual and FREE

Virtual First-Generation Symposium
Hosted by North Carolina Community College System and NASPA, Center for First-Gen Student Success
Friday, March 4, 2022 from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. EST
For more information- contact

Celebrate First Gen Students

The Center for First-Generation Student Success and the Council for Opportunity in Education (COE) encourage colleges and universities to celebrate the success of first generation college students, faculty and staff on your campus in any way possible. Click here to learn ways to plan events, build relationships with colleagues, involve leadership and even post your plans to the website. If you are sharing your event on social media platforms, tag @COEtalk and @FirstgenCenter, and use the hashtag #CelebrateFirstGen

Are you a NACADA member and academic advisor who wants to share ways your college campus can celebrate first generation students during National First Generation College Celebration Day on November 8th? Do you want to learn more about this? Please email the Communications subcommittee at with an example of how your campus or school celebrates first gen students. We will collect your submissions and find ways to distribute them to our membership on various communication platforms, our website or point you to resources or ways to collaborate on this topic. 

First-Gen Student Announcement:

On Tuesday, Nove. 30th a bipartisan resolution was agreed on by a team of Senators who helped steer S. Res. 437 to passage under unanimous consent to support the importance of November 8, better known as National First Generation College Celebration Day. This recognizes the contributions and accomplishments of First-Generation College Students around the country. Cheers to being first and making history!!  Click here to view the direct link to the legislation bill.

Current Chair

Sandra Avalos

Sandra Avalos
Kansas State University
Current Term: 2020-2022

NACADA Presents First Gen Podcast Series

Podcast here
Please email the Communications Subcommittee if you have an idea for a podcast topic, would like to be a guest speaker or want to suggest a contact to reach who is interested in being featured. 

Meeting Minutes