The new organization is meant to provide support to students who are the first in their families to attend a four-year school.
More than 50 Cal U students, faculty and staff were inducted into a new first-generation honor society on May 2.
The Cal U chapter of Alpha Alpha Alpha, a national organization, is one of the first dozen chapters in the nation, organizers said. The group will recognize academic achievement in first-generation college students, create enthusiasm for scholarship, promote leadership opportunities and provide support networks for first-generation students within and across college chapters.
To be inducted, undergraduate students must have earned at least 30 credits toward an associate or bachelor’s degree, and have completed at least two semesters with an overall GPA of 3.2. Graduate students must have completed 9 credits with an overal GPA of 3.5.
Approximately 20% of Cal U’s 6,885 students are classified as first-generation, meaning their parents did not complete four-year degrees.
Cal U’s Alpha Alpha Alpha advisers, all first-generation college graduates themselves, are Cody Deitz, from University housing, Dr. Codie Stone, a sociology professor, and Laura Giachetti, assistant professor and director of TRIO Student Support Services. Further assistance for faculty and staff recruitment was organized by Laura Giachetti, assistant professor and director of TRIO Student Support Services.
“The hope is that by creating a network between undergraduates, graduates, faculty, staff and alumni, it builds relationships and rapport,” Deitz said. “If you’re struggling, you have people who can be that pseudo-parent, people who have experienced what you’re going through.”
The is the latest service geared toward the success of first-generation student at Cal U. Another, The TRIO Mentor Program, offers academic, professional and personal guidance to those students who would like additional support.