ATU Earns First-Generation Celebration Grant

First Gen and Proud at ATU November 2019

Arkansas Tech University is one of 31 institutions of higher learning around the United States selected to receive a 2020 first-generation celebration grant.

The funds, which are made available by the Council for Opportunity in Education, the Center for First-Generation Student Success and the Suder Foundation, will provide selected colleges and universities with resources to host events in observance of First-Generation College Celebration Day on Nov. 8, 2020.

First-Generation College Celebration Day is an annual event that recognizes the success of first-generation college students, faculty and staff. The event is sponsored by the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) and the Suder Foundation.

According to information provided by the presenting organizations, First-Generation College Celebration Day seeks to “encourage campus communities to better understand the systemic barriers plaguing higher education and the supports necessary for this important and resilient population to continue thriving.”

Systematic approaches to enhancing first-generation student success at Arkansas Tech University have included the development of the ATU First Generation Institute. The summer program allows high school students from across Arkansas to interact with current ATU students, discover the academic opportunities available at Arkansas Tech, experience life as a college student, learn how to finance their education, tour the ATU campus and gain insight on becoming involved in campus life.

ATU was an active participant in the 2019 First-Generation College Celebration Day. Personnel from the ATU Department of Campus Life set up informational tables on campus and surveyed first-generation college students at ATU. The university is applying data from those surveys to develop initiatives directed at the first-generation population.

During spring 2020, the ATU Department of Campus Life hosted a series of Wednesday Workshop events to provide college success skills to first-generation students.

Learn more about resources ATU provides for its first-generation population at