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Nazareth Receives First-gen Forward Designation

Published March 05, 2020


The Center for First-generation Student Success recently honored Nazareth College as among the 2020-21 cohort of First-gen Forward institutions. The First-gen Forward designation recognizes institutions of higher education that have demonstrated a commitment to improving experiences and advancing outcomes of first-generation college students. Selected institutions receive professional development, community-building experiences, and a first look at the Center's research and resources.

"First-gen students are a vital part of our College community, and I'm so proud that Nazareth has earned the national distinction for its commitment to first-generation student success," said Nazareth President Daan Braveman.

Nazareth supports more than 290 reported first-generation college students on campus, which is 14% of the undergraduate student body. Nazareth College efforts include: providing workshops and individual support to help students navigate college, connecting students to appropriate resources on campus and creating a campus-wide initiative to support and celebrate first-gen students. First-year first-gen students have the opportunity to attend Nazareth's Summer Start — a 6-week residential program taking college classes and earning 6 credits at no cost, along with participating in workshops to understand resources on campus and have social and cultural experiences to connect with peers, faculty, and staff.

"Through the application process, it was evident that Nazareth is not only taking steps to serve first-generation students but is prepared to make a long-term commitment and employ strategies for significant scaling and important advances in the future," said Sarah E. Whitley, Ph.D., senior director of the Center for First-generation Student Success, based in Washington, D.C.

As a First-gen Forward institution, select faculty and staff will be afforded multiple opportunities to engage with peer and aspirational institutions who also are creating environments that improve the experiences and outcomes of first-generation students. Selected institutions will send representatives to the First-gen Forward Workshop in Baltimore in June and will participate in monthly phone calls, virtual professional development, goal setting, blog development, annual reporting, and more. After two successful years in the program, institutions are eligible to apply for the advisory leadership designation.

"First-gen Forward is an exciting opportunity for Nazareth College to join an elite community of professionals prepared to share evidence-based practices and resources, troubleshoot challenges, generate knowledge, and continue to advance the success of first-generation students across the country. We are excited to see a groundswell of activity from the First-gen Forward cohort and know Nazareth College will be a significant contributor," said Kevin Kruger, Ph.D., president and CEO of the higher education student affairs administrators' professional association known as NASPA.

To learn more about the Center for First-generation Student Success, visit

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Learn more about first-gen efforts at Nazareth

Nazareth University is an inclusive community of inspired learners, educators, and changemakers who for nearly 100 years have been driven by a bold commitment to action, empathy, equity, and leading innovation for the common good. Impact experiences are at the heart of a Nazareth education, preparing each student to discover within themselves the potential to cultivate positive change in their life's work, in any career field, and in a world that is constantly evolving and infinitely interconnected.

Our broad academic offerings present a range of study options typical of larger universities, yet achieved in our supportive campus culture. Nearly 2,100 undergrad and 600 graduate students enroll in degree and certificate programs and engage in collaborative, transformative learning experiences, preparing for the professions and society of today and tomorrow. In a learning community that purposefully integrates liberal arts and professional programs, Nazareth University graduates are able to launch a lifetime of impactful leadership in communities and workplaces near and far.