Virginia Tech® home

First-Generation Student Success

First-Generation Student Success

Light passing through tree limbs creating shadows on a hokie stone wall.
Loading player for

At Virginia Tech,

A student is identified as a first-generation college student if neither parent/guardian has earned a bachelor’s degree at a four-year college or university. Student Affairs is committed to the ongoing development of resources and tools that contribute to first-generation college student success.

There are over 6,000
first-generation students at Virginia Tech.

More than 50
first-generation undergraduates live in the GenerationOne living-learning community.

First-Generation Student Success collaborates with departments across campus to provide programming and events throughout the academic year. The events:

  • Raise awareness about the needs and experiences of first-generation college students.
  • Connect first-generation students with one another and with faculty and staff to build community.
  • Create an environment for first-generation students that welcomes diverse ideas and cultures, promotes lifelong learning, instills values, and cultivates a strong academic identity.

Signature Events

  • Fall meet and greet
  • Vision Board Party
  • First-Gen Scholar Hour
  • First Together First-Gen Graduate Ceremony

First-Generation Peer Mentoring Program

  • First-Generation Peer Mentors are crucial to the academic, cultural, and social integration of first-generation students throughout their first and second years. Mentors are student leaders who serve as a valuable resource for first-generation students. Mentors will be available starting in the fall semester of 2020.

VT Firsts Living-Learning Community (proposed)

  • VT Firsts is a proposed living-learning community designed to support the transition from high school to college for first-generation students at Virginia Tech. The community will help students navigate their academic and social experience during their first year and beyond by connecting them with peers, peer mentors, faculty and staff, campus resources, social events, workshops, and service-learning opportunities.

First-Generation Reception during Weeks of Welcome and Community Kickoff

  • In partnership with Virginia Tech’s Cultural and Community Centers, new and returning first-generation students are invited to attend the First-Generation Reception during Weeks of Welcome and Community Kickoff and share experiences from their first week of classes. We encourage students to engage other students and First-Generation Allies to discuss ways to navigate challenges and set goals for the coming year.

Fall Family Weekend First-Generation Brunch

  • In partnership with New Student and Family Programs, we host a reception each fall for incoming first-generation students and their families. During this event, students and families are celebrated and families are encouraged to remain active participants in their student’s college experience.

First-Generation College Celebration Week

  • Each fall, First-Generation Student Success invites first-generation students, faculty, staff, and allies to attend First-Generation College Celebration Week. Events celebrate the presence and experiences of first-generation students.

First-Generation Success Group

  • In partnership with Cook Counseling Center, the first-generation success group creates a space for first-generation students to share their experiences and connect with one another.

First-Generation Recognition Ceremony

  • In partnership with the Cultural and Community Centers, we invite all graduating first-generation students to wear a First-Generation stole with their graduation regalia, which they will receive at the recognition ceremony the week before graduation. We invite all graduating first-generation college students and their guests to join us for this event.

First-Generation Institute

  • In partnership with the College Access Collaborative and Admissions, the First-Generation Institute is a residential, academic leadership program held during the summer for rising juniors and seniors.
  • Page Fetter
    Assistant Dean for First-Generation Student Success and Program Director for GenerationOne Living-Learning Community
First-generation Student Success logo