SBME Welcomes First Generation Students
Colorado State University—the first university in the country to identify first generation, low-income students and provide scholarships designed to pay for tuition and student fees—created its First Generation Award program in 1984. First Generation status is defined as students whose parents did not complete a bachelor’s degree or higher. Since 1984, CSU has continued to provide not only scholarships but also create a community of support for these students.
Dozens of first generation members make up the faculty and staff at the College of Engineering and are naturally prepared and particularly willing to share their experiences and relate to the obstacles first generation students face. I myself am a first generation student, so I understand the additional challenges students face such as navigating undergraduate education and the familial challenges and stressors that come with being the first in the family to venture into a distant university life.
As part of its commitment to student success, the SBME plans to grow assistance and programs for First Generation Students. The SBME began to address issues by providing underrepresented students an opportunity to mingle one-on-one with faculty at the inaugural SBME First Generation Dinner in February 2014. We look forward to continuing this outreach in spring 2017 when we host our 4th Annual SBME First Generation Dinner. In addition, we provide a number of resources that you can find on our new webpage devoted to SBME First Generation students: engr.colostate.edu/sbme/firstgeneration.
As we continue to search for new opportunities to support these pioneering scholars, I welcome your thoughts and ideas. Feel free to reach out to me via email at Stuart.Tobet@colostate.edu or by phone at (970) 491-7157.
Stuart Tobet, Ph.D.