Cal U Celebrates First-Generation Students

Nov 08, 2021

The University participates in a national event to celebrate those who are the first in their families to attend a four-year institution of higher learning.

On Nov. 8, Cal U joined the First-Generation College Celebration, a national day sponsored by the Center for First-Generation Student Success, to recognize students who are the first in their families to attend a four-year college or university.

Dr. Dale-Elizabeth Pehrsson, interim University President, recorded a message for all first-generation students at Cal U, Clarion and Edinboro universities.

“People care about your success, and we want to help you get there,” she said.

At Cal U, nearly one-third of first-year and transfer students are first-generation, meaning their parents did not attend a four-year institution.

On Monday, students from the TRIO Club at Cal U had information tables in the Natali Student Union and Manderino Library.

“This is the fourth year that we have participated in this national effort,” said Laura Giachetti, director of TRIO Student Support Services and assistant professor in the Department of TRIO and Academic Services.

“This day gives first-generation students more visibility,” said Mara Proie, a sophomore childhood education major and Rutledge Scholar. “Sometimes, we can’t rely on the advice or tips that adults would give us if they had gone to college. The TRIO Club can provide that support.”

The Department of TRIO and Academic Services helps students to achieve their educational goals by providing counseling, financial and economic literacy, peer-to-peer supports, personal development workshops, graduate school preparation and cultural trips.

The Student Support Services program is one of three original TRIO programs authorized in 1968 by the Higher Education Act. The goal of SSS is to increase the postsecondary persistence and graduation rate of income eligible and/or first-generation college students, or students with disabilities and to facilitate these students’ transition from one level of higher education to the next.