Saint Anselm College Receives First-gen Forward Designation; National Honor for Commitment to First-generation Student Success

July 14, 2022

By Paul Pronovost '91 and Jason Burns '22

In recognition of Saint Anselm College’s commitment to first generation college students, the Center for First-generation Student Success has named the College as a member of its 2022-23 First-gen Forward cohort. The First-gen Forward designation recognizes institutions of higher education who have demonstrated a commitment to improving experiences and advancing outcomes of first-generation college students. 

As a First-Gen Forward Institution, faculty and staff will be afforded multiple opportunities to engage with peer institutions who are also creating environments that improve the experiences and outcomes of first-generation students. Selected institutions will send representatives to the First-gen Forward Workshop slated for early-June and will participate in monthly calls, virtual professional development, goal setting, blog development, annual reporting, and more. After two successful years in the program, institutions are eligible to apply for the Advisory leadership designation. 

The Center for First-generation Student Success, an initiative of NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education and The Suder Foundation, selects institutions to receive professional development, community-building experiences, and a first look at the Center’s research and resources. 

“The Center is pleased to welcome Saint Anselm College into the 2022-23 First-gen Forward cohort. Through the application process, it was evident that Saint Anselm is not only taking steps to serve first-generation students but is prepared to make a long-term commitment and employ strategies that foster an environment of success for this important population,” said Dr. Sarah E. Whitley, assistant vice president, Center for First-Generation Student Success. 

Saint Anselm College will have access to the premier source of evidence-based practices, professional development, and knowledge creation for the higher education community to advance the success of first-generation students. Based in Washington, DC, the Center aims to acknowledge the intersectional experiences of first-generation college students. It offers an outlet for sharing cutting-edge research and current media conversations, opportunities for engagement through online learning, conferences, and events, and access to a bevy of programs and services intended to improve first-generation initiatives across higher education.

In June, Wayne Currie, Director of the Intercultural Center, attended the First Gen Forward Kickoff. The workshop included four other New England Institutions, seeking to create a network that facilitated “the sharing of knowledge, strategies, and resources for advancing first-generation student initiatives.” During this workshop, NASPA showed the tools and strategies they offer institutions in their program in order to create a welcoming and fulfilling environment for first-generation college students.

Learn more about first-generation efforts at Saint Anselm College. To learn more about the Center for First-Generation Student Success, visit

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