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K-State Today

September 23, 2015



Author Lee Ward to speak Oct. 13 about how to best help first-generation students

By Jana Fallin

Did you know that more than 40 percent of our K-State student population are first-generation students, meaning that they will be the first in their family to graduate from college. Everyone on campus, including faculty, staff, student services personnel and advisors, need to better understand the unique needs of these students.

To help us all learn more, the Teaching & Learning Center is hosting "Teaching Success with 1st Gen Students" from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 13 in the Alumni Center Banquet Room. There is no cost to attend but please register.

A continental breakfast will be provided by Café Learn, and members from this organization will be on campus for two days to visit with faculty.

Lee Ward from James Madison University, author of "First-Generation College Students: Understanding and Improving the Experience from Recruitment to Commencement," will be leading us in this daylong program. Participants will walk away with new ideas for teaching, advising and assisting first generation students. Of course, whatever we do to help first generation students will benefit all of our students.

Also a large group of our faculty were first generation students. Several of these faculty members graciously agreed to be filmed sharing their first generation student stories. We will be showing clips from these videos during the day, and again, you do not want to miss this. These stories are a treasure, rich with meaning and filled with suggestions to help our students.

Participants will enjoy great Cox Bros. Barbecue with our luncheon speaker, Judge Tommy Webb. Webb's inspiring story, "Making a Difference," clearly illustrates how one person can change a life.

Everyone is invited, regardless if you were or are a first generation student. Ward especially wants staff, advisors, and people from student service offices to attend along with faculty. We are a team in this effort to move our first-generation students toward graduation.

You do not want to miss this informative, meaningful and interesting day. Please contact the Teaching & Learning Center at 785-532-7828 if you need more information.