College offers a chance to explore new ideas and to grow through new experiences.
Ultimately, college is as much a journey of discovery as it is an opportunity to gain
valuable career skills. First-generation college students have decided to take a chance
on something new and challenging. And they bring a multitude of gifts and valuable
life experiences with them, along with a measure of determination, resolve and faith
in a brighter future.
First-generation students, who are experiencing the unknown culture of college, may
be referred to as transition communities. Effective transition communities enable students to share basic information that
they need to prosper, to solve problems together and to learn how to navigate college’s
At Missouri State University, the student organization MSU: I’m First serves as an already-formed transition community for our first-generation students.
MSU: I’m First was created to provide the resources and support that first-generation students at
Missouri State – nearly seven thousand of them! – need to succeed through graduation.
I'm First has hosted a finals study hall and workshops on FAFSA preparation, financial literacy and
scholarship application at Missouri State. I’m First sponsored a panel discussion to help students talk about their college experience
(and what it means to them) with family and friends. The organization also enjoys
social outings, such as to the MSU Game Center or Missouri State baseball games. Staff
and faculty members serve as mentors for I’m First’s members, providing an invaluable resource to help first-gen students succeed at Missouri
To learn more about MSU: I’m First or to join, email CAST@MissouriState.edu.
by Tracey Glaessgen & Mark Biggs