Publication Title

Journal of First-generation Student Success

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First-generation college students, Higher education -- Administration, Program evaluation in education, Curriculum-based assessment, Inclusive education, Critical pedagogy, Academic achievement -- Psychological aspects, Motivation in education -- Psychological aspects


The Co-Editors of Journal of First-generation Student Success, Rashné R. Jehangir, Ph.D., and Lindsay Romasanta, Ed.D., both former TRIO staff members, begin this inaugural issue with an interview with Council for Opportunity in Education founder and president emeritus Arnold Mitchem, Ph.D., and current president Maureen Hoyler, J.D. This conversation is an effort to situate the history of the first-gen movement with those who were there at the beginning and continue to engage in the work today. To quote James Baldwin, ‘‘Know from whence you came. If you know whence you came, there are absolutely no limitations to where you can go.’’ The term ‘‘first-generation’’ has grown in use over the past ten years and has its roots in the Higher Education Act of 1980. In 2017, the Council for Opportunity in Education (COE) and the Center for First-generation Student Success (Center) launched the inaugural First- Generation College Celebration to encourage colleges and universities to celebrate the success of first-generation college students, faculty, and staff. This coming together of COE and NASPA was the impetus behind the idea for this interview. This interview was conducted by video conference on December 10th, 2020, and has been edited for space and context.



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This is the author's manuscript (post-print version). The final published version is distributed by Taylor & Francis, © 2021 NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education: