First Gen Forward logoThe Center for First-generation Student Success, an initiative of NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education and The Suder Foundation, recently announced the 2021-22 First-gen Forward cohort. The First-gen Forward designation recognizes institutions of higher education who have demonstrated a commitment to improving experiences and advancing outcomes of first-generation college students. Selected institutions receive professional development, community-building experiences, and a first look at the Center’s research and resources.

At Marquette, efforts towards strategic and creative collaborations, both within and outside the Marquette community, have been developed to serve first-generation students. Some campus programs include:

  • LAB, or Leadership and Brotherhood Summit, out of the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion (OIDI) and the Center for Urban Research, Teaching, and Outreach (CURTO) partners with Milwaukee Public Schools’ Department of Black & Latino Male Achievement (BLMA), to engage in the community- and campus-wide effort to support the leadership development.
  • Educational Opportunity Program, one of the first TRIO programs established in 1969. Project Beyond-2 serves students from underrepresented backgrounds to pursue a rewarding career in professional nursing.
  • RISE, the three-day multicultural preorientation that is assists in transitioning first generation students of color to Marquette offering opportunities for first-year students to become familiar with the campus, meet peers, and be part of a cohort that provides peer mentoring throughout their first year.
  • The expansion of the Urban Scholars Program serving students from financially disadvantaged backgrounds who show great academic promise and commitment to enhancing their community through intentional action and involvement.
  • Office of Undergraduate Admissions (OUA) hosts strategic collaborations with high schools in the area in partnership with various campus departments to ensure their success once they arrive to Marquette.
  • Implementation of the Student Success Initiative in 2021 aiming to provide a transformative student success culture and care system.

What campus leaders are saying about the First Gen Foward Recognition

The efforts to serve first generation students at Marquette is aligned with our mission to ensure a quality and transformational educational experience for all of our students. We continue to work for greater success rates among our first gen student community and being part of the national First Gen Forward network will help us to advance our goal of increasing the number of first gen graduates at Marquette. —Dr. Kimo Ah Yun, Provost, Marquette University

The Division of Student Affairs at Marquette is quite honored to be included in these first cohorts of First Gen Forward institutions. As part of this network, we have access to resources and can connect with other colleges and universities to share best practices in supporting our first generation students. This support is in concert with our Catholic, Jesuit mission, for it speaks to cura personalis and being people in community with and for others. —Dr. Xavier A. Cole, Vice President for Student Affairs, Marquette University


To learn more about the Center for First-generation Student Success, visit

NASPA—Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education is the leading association for the advancement, health, and sustainability of the student affairs profession. Its work provides high-quality professional development, advocacy, and research for 15,000 members in all 50 states, 25 countries, and 8 U.S. territories. Visit for more information.

The Center for First-generation Student Success is the premier source of evidence-based practices, professional development, and knowledge creation for the higher education community to advance the success of first-generation students. Through four strategic priority areas, the Center drives higher education innovation and advocacy for first-generation student success.