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K-State Today

October 4, 2018

Join the KSUnite conversations: First-generation student success and leading courageous conversations

Submitted by Bryan Samuel

Did you know that nearly 33 percent of all college students are first generation? Does a first-generation college student come from a home where neither parent earned a college degree? What if at least one parent graduated college? What if their parents attended college but didn't graduate? Does it matter if it's a biological parent that attended college or some other adult residing in their home? Research suggests that there are many ways to define a first-generation college student — but however you define it, they lag behind their peers (Smith, 2015). Regardless of how they're defined, first-generation students enroll and graduate at lower rates than do other students. 

Eric and Deborah Suder, co-founders of The Suder Foundation, will present "Empowering First Generation Students for Success," a KSUnite facilitated conversation, on Tuesday, Oct. 9. Learn more about the unique challenges of first-generation students at 10 a.m. in the K-State Student Union Bluemont Room. 

The first KSUnite movement was followed by numerous discussions, events and trainings. For example, nearly 1,000 K-Staters participated in the Wildcat Dialogues on Sept. 17. Every student, faculty and staff member of the K-State community will have a unique experience or journey with intercultural learning and cultural competence.

Wildcat Dialogues is more than a campus event — it's a way to exercise leadership for a more inclusive campus community through storytelling and dialogue. Kerry Priest, associate professor in the Staley School of Leadership Studies, will facilitate "Wildcat Dialogues: Developing Skills for Learning Courageous Conversations" at 11 a.m. in the K-State Student Union Ballroom. In this session, you will learn how to create the conditions to facilitate meaningful conversations that engage others and develops intercultural competence.

See a full schedule of KSUnite's events and breakout sessions on the KSUnite website and watch K-State Today this week for descriptions of other sessions.