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Teaching First-Generation College Students Subject of Center Program

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Teachers helping teachers develop successful strategies to support the academic achievement of first-generation college students is the goal of a new three-day institute being offered by the Faculty Development Center.

The Aug. 9-11 program “Teaching First- Generation College Students: Simple Strategies to Support Academic Achievement” will emphasize incorporating culturally responsive instruction; fostering resilience, social integration and teamwork; and boosting student engagement, says Laura Lohman, who received a National Education Association Foundation grant to underwrite the institute.

“This is an important new form of support we will be offering for faculty,” said Lohman. “One that we hope we can grow and expand.”

Facilitating the sessions will be Maria Estela Zarate and Rebecca Gutierrez Keeton of educational leadership. Both first-generation college students.

“My concept is that each session will focus on discussing a practical application that participating faculty can then synthesize into a course that they will be teaching during the 2016-17 academic year,” explains Lohman. “The goal is to help ensure that these educators not only have a strong impact on first-generation students but also become leaders in their colleges and departments and share what they learned with others.”

In fact, as part of the program, participants follow up by leading a session or facilitating a workshop through the Faculty Development Center or through their department or college.

“I believe that from the 20 participants in this institute,  at least 1,200 students will immediately benefit in fall 2016,” says Lohman. “And if all 20 participate by leading another program, we have the potential to make a significant ripple that will affect the entire faculty.”

Faculty members can register and learn more about “Teaching First-Generation College Students: Simple Strategies to Support Academic Achievement” through the Faculty Development Center calendar at or through this workshop link.