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K-State Today

April 1, 2014



K-State receives additional First Scholars Program grant

By Steven P. Dandaneau

The Suder Foundation's First Scholars Program has awarded Kansas State University a series of incentive grants totaling $62,500. The First Scholars Program supports first-generation students — college and university students whose parents or guardians have not themselves earned a bachelor's degree.

With this funding, Kansas State University will help design and pilot a new living and learning community, which intentionally serves first-generation undergraduate students, expand our strengths-based programming for the explicit benefit of first-generation students, and provide professional development opportunities geared to further inform the university community about today's first-generation K-State students, who, not incidentally, comprise 40 percent of the total undergraduate student population.

This latest award is in addition to the $850,000 grant Kansas State University received in 2013 from the Suder Foundation's First Scholars Program, which is supporting generous need-based scholarships and an intricate integrated four-year academic support program for selected first-generation students.

In the latest round of funding, K-State was selected as the lead partner among First Scholars Program affiliate institutions for strengths-based funding, and will collaborate with Washington State University and the University of Memphis in developing and piloting the experimental first-generation student living and learning community. K-State will kick-off its new first-generation student-oriented professional development program when we welcome the First Scholars Program's executive director, Diane Schorr, as a keynote speaker for the forthcoming 2014 K-State/NACADA Academic Advising Summer Institute.

In addition to K-State, the First Scholars network includes the University of Kentucky, University of Alabama, Washington State University, University of Memphis, Southern Illinois University, and Northern Arizona University. Each institution is recognized for its work with first-generation students.

Taking the lead in crafting K-State's most recent proposals were Derek Jackson, housing and dining services; Stephanie Bannister, housing and dining services; Mike Finnegan, School of Leadership Studies; Carla Jones, student life; Damien Williams, KSU Foundation; and Steve Dandaneau, provost's office.

For more information on the First Scholars Program, please contact Dandaneau at 785-532-1097.