UALR Celebrates First Generation Students

UALR will celebrate the more than 3,000 students on campus who are the first in their families to attend college at National Non-Traditional Student Week from Nov. 5 to 9.

Events include an open house, the kickoff of the annual Toys for Tots drive, and a film screening of the documentary “First Generation,” followed by a panel discussion with the directors of the film.

Prior to the week, first-generation students are invited to tell their family’s story on videotape from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 30 and 31, in Room 201A in the Donaghey Student Center.

“Stop by and tell your story of being the first in your family to go to college,” said Cynda Alexander, adult student advocate in the Office of Campus Life. “Written submissions also will be  accepted via email at”

Student retention experts say students who are the first in their families to go to college may enter with a limited knowledge about the jargon, traditions, and patterns of expected behavior in higher education.

“These factors may prevent them from fully engaging in a university setting and may contribute to failure to complete their degree,” Anderson said. “We are cognizant of these obstacles and have support systems in place to help them succeed.”

Here is the schedule of events:

  • 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, Nov. 5 – Non-Traditional Student Program Open House  and Toys for Tots Kick-Off Drive; Office of Campus Life, Room 216, Donaghey Student Center. Stop by and get information about how the advocate’s office can help students succeed in reaching educational goals. Sgt. Victor Ramirez, Marine Corp Reserve Toys for Tots coordinator will be on hand. Bring a new unwrapped to show support for the military and area children.
  • Noon to 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 7 – Ledbetter Hall Room A; DSC. The first of two screenings of the documentary “First Generation.” The film tells the story of four high school students – an inner-city athlete, a small-town waitress, a Samoan warrior dancer, and the daughter of migrant field workers – who set out bring hope to their families and communities by pursuing a college education. The 95-minute film explores how their success has major implications for the future of the country.
  • 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 7 – Dickinson Hall Auditorium. The second showing of the film “First Generation.
  • 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8 – Leadership Lounge, Room 201, DSC. The  Non-Traditional Student Organization invites first-generation students for a light lunch to meet other non-traditionals and to pick up swag.

For more information, contact Cynda Alexander at 501.569.3308 or for more information.

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