Tonya Elmore Carmen Shurtleff Tiffany Carpenter

Mentoring 1st Generation Students to Success - E51-376

A workshop by Tiffany Carpenter , Tonya Elmore and Carmen Shurtleff

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About this Workshop

In today’s American society, it is significantly more challenging for first-generation (first-gen) rural college students to pursue higher education. These challenges create an issue of inequity among students pursuing their academic and professional aspirations resulting in a gap between educational attainment and achievement for first-gen groups in higher education. Understanding first-gen students' distinctive lived experiences, relationships, and potential best practices are more important than ever in the higher education climate due to the continuously increasing population of first-generational students seeking secondary education.

In order to prevent negative outcomes and improve chances of success, colleges must implement a plan of action to address barriers to success for first-gen students. To improve the outcomes of first-generation students including retention and completion, early intervention is essential. This can be achieved through the development of a campus-wide peer mentor program that pairs first-generation students with a 2nd-year student mentor. The goal of the mentor program is to implement a holistic approach to close the gaps of inequality faced by first-generation students, by providing them with a campus community that values and supports them with a reciprocal relationship versus a transactional one. The campus mentor program includes supporting an environment that promotes and embraces self-advocacy while enhancing self-determination. In addition, it is imperative to change the narrative of inclusiveness on college campuses, and improve the socio-economical, educational attainment, employability, and overall well-being within the community.

About The Speakers

Tiffany Carpenter

Tiffany Carpenter

Graduate Student, Northeast Texas Community College/Texas A&M University-Commerce


Tonya Elmore

Tonya Elmore

Undergraduate Student, Northeast Texas Community College


Carmen Shurtleff

Carmen Shurtleff

College/University Faculty, Northeast Texas Community College