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In 2017 Broward College received a finalist distinction by the Aspen Institute as one of the top three community colleges nationwide. As a result, the college received a grant and put out a call for Innovation Grant proposals. Winners of these grants would design projects to advance the scholarship of teaching and learning of Broward College faculty. A total of 37 proposals were submitted and the #firstgenproud campaign was one of the 24 that was selected for funding. For more information about grant and other winners, please visit http://facultyinnovation.com/.

The team consisted of the following members:

  • Dr. Nathalie Franco
  • Dr. Noelle Crooks
  • Dr. Mirella Baker Bemmel
  • Professor Kaya Hamer-Small
  • Professor Italia Folleco

The #firstgenproud campaign seeks to foster a positive climate for first-generation students at BC, increase visibility of first-generation faculty, and encourage meaningful connections between students and faculty. We aim to facilitate student access to college resources and promote evidence-based pedagogical and mentoring practices aimed at supporting first-generation student success.


The college-wide, collaborative student success project #firstgenproud targets first-generation students (FGS) at Broward College, including College Academy. In particular, the project focuses on introducing students to “role models...like themselves (i.e. first gen) who have succeeded and who can share, from their experiences, what it took to become successful.” (V. Tinto, Personal Communication August 28, 2017). Through a visibility campaign and campus events, the #firstgenproud project aims to foster a positive climate for FGS and facilitate their access to resources. The project encourages faculty (both first-gen and supporters) to identify themselves and to incorporate evidence-based pedagogical practices focused on teaching and mentoring FGS.


Research suggests that FGS face a number of challenges that their continuing-generation peers do not. For example, FGS tend to have lower levels of knowledge about navigating the college environment (e.g., Pascarella et al., 2004), are less likely to achieve their educational goals (e.g., McCarron & Inkelas, 2006), and graduate at lower rates (e.g, Pell Institute, 2017). FGS are less likely to interact with and seek support from faculty which leads to a sense of feeling less integrated into the college environment which, in turn, impacts college persistence (Barnett, 2010; Katrevich & Aruguete, 2017; Kezar & Maxey, 2014).


#Firstgenproud Faculty and Supporters, would you like to join Broward College’s First Generation initiative? Please contact us at firstgenproud@broward.edu


#FirstGen Students and Faculty launching the visibility campaign at Central Campus



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