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K-State Today

April 6, 2023

K-State advances first-generation student success

Submitted by Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

From left: Bin Ning, Jeannie Brown-Leonard, Rebeca Paz and Rana Johnson pose at the First Scholars Leadership Academy

Kansas State University continues to be a national leader in advancing first-generation student success and has gained national recognition through its partnership with NASPA's Center for First-generation Student Success. On March 30 through April 1, a K-State team joined 274 institutions from across the nation at the First Scholars Leadership Academy in Boston, Massachusetts.

K-State's cross-functional coalition dedicated to first-generation student success included Rana Johnson, vice president for diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging; Bin Ning, associate provost for institutional research and assessment; Jeannie Brown Leonard, vice provost for student success; and Rebeca Paz, assistant director for the Office of First-Generation Students.

As a member of the First Scholars Network, K-State's Office of First-generation Students continues to develop connections and collaborations in coordinating the university's work to advance equity and narrow first-generation student enrollment, retention and completion gaps.

Using data analytics to develop action plans is one key to success for the First Scholars program. In addition to leading the cyclical data submission to the Postsecondary Data Partnership co-hosted by the National Student Clearinghouse and the national Center for First-Generation Student Success, K-State's Office of Institutional Research and Assessment, or OIRA, has developed a comprehensive collection of BI reports that present information about first-generation students to key stakeholders. Data scientists and analysts at OIRA are committed to developing more focused research projects through working collaboratively with units that interface with first-generation students across the university.

While attending the First Scholars Leadership Academy, the K-State team built intentional connections between DEIB initiatives and support for the institutional commitment to narrowing equity gaps by creating road maps and pathways for first-generation student success throughout student life cycle.

Learn more about K-State's Office of First-generation Students. Email firstgen@k-state.edu if you identify as a first-gen faculty or staff member or if the office may count you among its first-generation student allies.