Indiana State University Newsroom

ISU receives national honor for commitment to first-generation students

March 4, 2022

The Center for First-generation Student Success, an initiative of NASPA - Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education and The Suder Foundation, has recognized Indiana State University with The First-gen Forward designation.

This designation identifies ISU among the institutions of higher education that have demonstrated a commitment to improving experiences and advancing outcomes of first-generation college students. As a result, ISU will receive professional development and community-building experiences, and access to the center's research and resources for its faculty and staff.

"Many first-generation college students choose Indiana State University and we prepare them to take on life's opportunities," said President Deborah J. Curtis, Ph.D. "This recognition is made possible by our outstanding faculty and staff who provide quality support and programs dedicated to serving first-generation college students. It reinforces what we know: that an ISU education opens doors to opportunity and social mobility."

First-gen Forward is the first recognition program for higher education institutions' commitment to first-generation student success.

Fifty-three institutions, two in Indiana, are honored with this designation this year. The Indiana institutions are ISU and Purdue University Northwest. Other institutions honored include California State University - Fullerton, Johns Hopkins University, Penn State University, Oklahoma State University, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

"ISU is among an impressive list of schools providing resources to support first-generation student success and degree completion," said Rana Johnson, Ph.D., Associate Vice President for Inclusive Excellence and Strategic Initiatives. "This is the result of cross-campus collaboration. It takes a village to retain and graduate students."

"The designation not only offers resources to first-generation students but also provides professional development to ISU leaders that support our students," she added.

Said Dr. Sarah E. Whitley, assistant vice president, Center for First-generation Student Success: "The Center is pleased to welcome Indiana State University into the 2022-23 First-gen Forward cohort. Through the application process, it was evident that ISU is not only taking steps to serve first-generation students but is prepared to make a long-term commitment and employ strategies that foster an environment of success for this important population."