Student Retention Initiatives Hosts First-Generation, Transfer Student Welcome
The office of Student Retention Initiatives hosted a student success welcome event Aug. 24 filled with food, fun, and great activities for first-generation freshmen and transfer students.
“Growing up my parents never got their education so they always wanted the best for me, so I went for my education and followed in my sister’s footsteps,” said Oreana Roman, a first-generation freshman.
Student success coaches and student support specialists engage with students one-on-one to help them develop skills for success throughout the semester, navigate UA Little Rock, and maintain a healthy balance between school and life.
The initiative helps students get connected to resources on campus and match them with peer mentors to “help answer questions, guide them, and be a student leader,” said Laura Casey, student success coach.
“I know how hard it was for me to be a first-gen,” said Maria Roman, peer mentor of five. “I hope this event will draw more people to the program.”
The event featured numerous programs such as the Multicultural Center, the Disability Resource Center, Student Support Services, etc.
“I saw a lot of organizations like TRIO that I didn’t know about, and learned about some different events that I wouldn’t have known about if I didn’t come here,” said Hayden Henderson, a first-generation freshman.
Student Support Services is a federally-funded program located in Suite 105 of the Speech building that provides online and in-person tutoring, academic advising, workshops for financial and economic literacy, scholarships, textbook loans, graduate school trips, and career readiness.
“We focus on career readiness and enrichment workshops,” said Desarae Nelson, TRIO SSS Director. “We offer academic advising in resume writing, mock interviews, internships, and help with employment after graduation.”
Experienced staff and upper-class students advised that students don’t hesitate to ask questions about anything hindering academic success. Any undergraduate student who identifies as a first-generation college student, taking at least one class at UA Little Rock, can Request a Peer Mentor through the end of September.
“We work with students and faculty to make sure that the learning environment is as accessible as possible,” said Reed Claiborne, director of the Disability Resource Center. “Get to know all the departments on campus, find a department that will help you find resources all over campus, and get involved.”