Information & Resources for
University of Iowa Faculty & Staff

At the University of Iowa, first-generation college students are those students whose parent(s) or guardian(s) have not completed a four-year degree. Compared to their continuing generation peers, first-generation students often face a unique set challenges in their college transition and completion efforts, and benefit greatly from additional support of faculty and staff who are dedicated to their success. This page is designed to serve as a resource for faculty and staff who want to learn more about first-generation students and how to better support them in their academic endeavors. 

Listed below are several resources. Click here for further reading and additional information.

UI BUILD: First Gen Focus Presentation

This presentation's objectives are to:

  • Explore the complex definition and intersections of characteristics and identities of first-generation students.
  • Examine the experiences of first-generation students at the UI via transition and engagement survey data, in addition to the impact of some high impact practices.
  • Discuss strategies that we can use in our work to create a more supportive campus environment for first-generation students and their families.

Presentation Slides: PDF iconUI BUILD First Generation Presentation (Academic Support & Retention, Fall 2016)


How Do Some First-Generation Students Experience College?


Ways to Make a Difference for First Generation College Students

Normalize help-seeking behavior, such as visiting office hours.


Based on our review of research and interviews with first-generation students at UI, the First Gen Task Force has created a one-page resource for faculty and staff:

The UI Center for Teaching created a companion document that focuses on recommendations for faculty and TAs in their interactions with first-generation students:

UI faculty and staff are welcome to share these documents with colleagues.  If you create your own companion document that focuses on the types of interactions you and your colleagues have with students, let us know and we will share it here with others on campus.



What Resources Are Available to Students?


This information was compiled by the UI First-Generation Students Task Force, which is composed of faculty and staff from across campus. For more information on first-generation students, or to recommend additional resources, please email