ATU to Celebrate National First-Gen Students Week

First-Gen Infographic Fall 2023

Arkansas Tech University will observe National First-Generation College Student Celebration Week with a series of events Nov. 6-9.

The schedule of activities is as follows:

Monday, Nov. 6

First-Generation Pop-Up Tables
11 a.m.-1 p.m.
3 p.m.-5 p.m.
Various Locations on Campus

Tuesday, Nov. 7

Norman Career Services Workshop (free lunch for first 20 students)
Noon-1 p.m.
Baswell Techionery room 203

2 p.m.
Baswell Techionery room 203

Wednesday, Nov. 8

First-Generation Faculty, Staff and Students Luncheon
11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Chambers Cafeteria West Dining Room
RSVP required:

Thursday, Nov. 9

Community Service Project: Writing Letters to Military Service Members
10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Hindsman Tower

Campus-Wide Presentation: First-Generation Student Engagement Strategies with Dr. Sarah Whitley
1-2:30 p.m.
Doc Bryan Student Services Center Lecture Hall

ATU was among 22 higher education institutions across the United States selected by the Center for First-Generation Student Success to advance to the First Scholars phase of the First Scholars Network in 2023.

Universities were chosen based upon their demonstrated commitment to advancing outcomes of first-generation students through student success initiatives and institution-wide approaches. The Center for First-Generation Student Success is an initiative made possible by NASPA and the Suder Foundation.

“One common message that I’d like for everyone to know is the definition we use to determine a first-generation student,” said Deidra Dillard, ATU first-generation student experience coordinator. “We consider a student to be first-generation if their parent(s) or guardian(s) does not have a bachelor’s degree. I have stickers and buttons in my office for faculty and staff who are first-generation graduates. I would love for anyone who is a first-generation graduate to reach out to me so that I can get these to them. My wish is to have them be displayed in their offices or on their person as a connection point for our current first-generation students. Hopefully the more they see these buttons and stickers, the more they will become connected to faculty and staff around them, and the more they will take pride in their first-generation status.”

The ATU Office of First Generation Student Experience is located in Doc Bryan Student Services Center room 171. Call (479) 968-0409 or send e-mail to for more information.

Learn more about the ATU Office of First Generation Student Experience at