More than 50 percent of CSU, Chico students will be the first generation in their family to complete a four-year degree. With that in mind, the University’s Office of Diversity & Inclusion has launched an awareness campaign to support the first-generation community. Faculty, staff, and students who are first-generation themselves participate in the campaign, showing their diversity, solidarity, and support of students who are striving toward the same goal.

In 2017, the group began the Annual 1st Gen Trailblazer Symposium. Below are recordings of presentations from that event.

More information is available on the First Generation page of the Office of Diversity & Inclusion Website.

First Generation Faculty & Staff Association

If Your Only Tool is a Hammer, Then Every Problem Looks Like a Nail

Anna Flores & Pablo Soto
Advisors, CSU, Chico Academic Advising Programs

Decorative use: Image from fixing the first-gen problem presentationThis presentation is subtitled: “Fixing First Gen problems with the right tools.” Accordingly, the speakers – both advisors in Academic Advising Programs – discuss the need to revise outreach to assist first generation students at Chico State. They provide context for this need with a history of the programs created over the last several decades to assist lower-income and/or underrepresented minority students to attend college. Ms. Flores and Mr. Soto then cite graduation rates and other statistics they believe indicate a failure of the current academic system to adequately assist these students. They provide information and resources to students/faculty/staff to increase student success and share new approaches implemented by Academic Advising Programs. Presentation time: 38 minutes | View Now 

Building Community: The Transformative Power of Storytelling for Enhancing Individual & Community Learnings

Dr. Danielle Fernandez, & Dr. Stephen Caldes
Faculty, Journalism & Public Relations Department

Decorative use: Image from Building Community PresentationAs the two speakers explain, first-generation college students can feel especially awkward and can experience feelings of “not belonging.” Dr. Stephen Caldes introduces the topic of “Invitational Education.” He explains that instructors can make small adjustments to how curriculum is delivered; adjustments that can create a more welcoming classroom community that really “invites” students to learn. Dr. Danielle Fernandez shares an activity she with which she begins her writing course. On the first day of class, she reads a heartfelt “Letter to My Students” about herself to “humanize” herself and help her students get comfortable. The students then write their own letters. Presentation time: 41 minutes | View Now