University of Michigan Receives First Forward Designation for Commitment to First-Generation Student Success


The Center for First-generation Student Success, an initiative of NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education and The Suder Foundation, recently announced the University of Michigan as part of their inaugural cohort of First Forward Institutions.

The First Forward designation recognizes institutions of higher education who have demonstrated a commitment to improving experiences and advancing outcomes of first-generation college students. Selected institutions receive professional development, community-building experiences, and a first look at the Center’s research and resources.

“I am incredibly proud of this recognition and the wonderful work that supports First Generation students at the University of Michigan,” says Robert Sellers, Vice Provost for Equity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer at the University of Michigan. “While there’s still work to be done, we’ve also made significant progress in a short period of time. We as an institution are committed to ensuring that all of our students have the support and community needed in order to contribute and thrive – not only during their time at U-M, but beyond.”

As a First Forward Institution, select faculty and staff will be provided multiple opportunities to engage with peer and aspirational institutions who are also creating environments that improve the experiences and outcomes of first-generation students. Selected institutions will send representatives to the First Forward Workshop to be held in Orlando and will participate in monthly phone 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.

To learn more about U-M’s First Generation initiatives, visit or for the Center for First-generation Student Success, visit

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