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First Generation Support

F1rst In Business

The John Chambers College of Business and Economics at West Virginia University proudly celebrates its tradition of empowering first-generation college graduates. We recognize and honor the unique journey of each student. We are committed to supporting our current and prospective students and their families as they work towards their personal and professional aspirations.

WVU defines first gen as…

  • You’re a first-generation student…
    • If neither of your parents or guardians completed a four-year degree from a college or university within the United States.
    • If your parents earned an associate’s degree.
    • If you live with only one parent or guardian who provides all your support, and that person doesn’t have a four-year college degree.
    • If you have a sibling that earned a two-year (associate) or four-year (bachelor) college degree, but your parents did not complete a four-year degree.

Embrace being a first-generation college business student at WVU!

Historical Context: Why November 8?

  • The Educational Opportunity Act of 1964 created an experiential program known as Upward Bound to work with low-income, first-generation high school students. With the passage of the Higher Education Act of 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson set forth directives to increase the number of individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds receiving a college degree. In 1968, Student Support Services (originally known as Special Services for Disadvantaged Students) was created to work with college students. The concept of "first-generation" students was introduced into federal policy by the TRIO community in 1980, during passage of the Higher Education Amendments to the Higher Education Act of 1965.
  • In honor of signing the Higher Education Act of 1965 that expanded college opportunities for low-income and first-generation populations, Nov. 8 is observed as National First-Generation Celebration Day. Championed by the Council for Opportunity in Education (COE) and the NASPA Center for First-Generation Student Success, the day brings awareness to the strengths as well as promotes visibility of first-generation college students, faculty and staff on campuses across the country. 
  • There are over 480 First Generation Undergraduate Students enrolled in the Chambers College.

First Generation Faculty

Coming soon.

First Generation Staff

Coming soon.

First Scholars Network

In 2021 WVU was selected to join the First Scholars Institution by the  Center for First-generation Student Success, an initiative of  NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education and The Suder Foundation. The First Scholars designation recognizes higher education institutions that demonstrate an unprecedented commitment to serving first-generation students. Reach Student Success leads the charge for First Generation Student Initiatives at WVU and works directly with academic college to support their programs as well.

First Generation Initiatives

The John Chambers College held its Inaugural National First-Generation Celebration Week November 6 t -10 th 2023. One day just isn't enough, we celebrate all week long!

Signature Programs

What did our Fall 2023 Celebration look like?

Coming soon.

Fall 2024 Programming

Chambers National First-Generation Celebration Week

Coming soon.

First-Generation Recognition Ceremony

Coming soon.

First Generation Support Group Series

The First-Gen Support Group is open to all students. While created with first-generation college students in mind, many students can benefit from the group, and any student is more than welcome to attend.

No matter where you are in your college journey, you don’t have to go it alone! The Becker Academic Engagement Success Center offers this First-Gen Support Group which will during the following dates below. The group is designed to help first-generation college students get familiar with college in general and WVU specifically, connect to university resources, find community, and develop strategies to thrive here at WVU, West Virginia State, and beyond! 

Dates Coming soon.

Current Student Experience Interviews

Coming soon.