|Our mission is to help all UST first-generation college students succeed in becoming college graduates through intentional interactions and participation in the UST community. We create a support network that promotes success for all.
At the University of St. Thomas, First-Generation College students are defined as any student whose parents have not attainted their bachelor’s degree.
- Ease the transition from high school to college.
- Help to clarify the “college experience” for students and families.
- Provide additional resources for financial aid education.
- Impact graduation and retention rates for first-generation college students.
- Create opportunities for peer discussions and interaction for social and academic growth.
- Connect FirstGen students with UST and the Houston community FirstGen graduates.
- Provide free or low-cost activities for FirstGen students.
- Create an understanding of FirstGen needs at UST.
UST FirstGen Group
Open to all UST students, faculty, and staff, the UST First Gen Group meets every other Tuesday at 12:30 pm in the Crooker Student Lounge to connect, ask questions, and discuss what it is like to be a First Gen student. See the UST Calendar for the exact First Gen Group meeting dates.
Anyone who is interested in information related to the success of first-generation college students should email firstname.lastname@example.org and request to be added to the UST First Generation College Student list-serve.
Nine Keys to Success for First Generation College Students
Success comes from a combination of hard work, teamwork, commitment and self-discipline. The following advice is adapted from K.J. Sufka’s 2011 book, The “A” Game: Nine Steps for Better Grades:
1.Go to class…ALWAYS!
2.Never sit in the cheap seats – sit in the front row where there are fewer distractions.
3.Come to class prepared – read assignments prior to class and review your notes.
4.When lost, ask questions – raise your hand, ask questions and visit faculty office hours.
5.Get spaced out – avoid “all nighters” and spread out your study times.
6.Develop learning objectives – learn different strategies for note-taking, studying material and learning styles that work for you.
7.Learn materials at all levels – college is more than just memorizing. Learn what it means to have “critical thinking” skills.
8.Use learning checks – get involved with study groups and use tutorial services.
9.Be exam savvy – read all questions carefully, review your answers and avoid errors in marking your answers.