University resources for first-generation students

Many challenges could stand in the way of students blazing the trail of being the first in their family to go to college. MSU Denver hopes to eliminate some of these barriers by creating a program to benefit these first generation students.  


MSU Denver Early Bird program is giving out free t-shirts and buttons at Suite 430 in the Student Success Building as a part of the “I’m first gen too” campaign. Photo courtesy of MSU Denver.

“There isn’t one specific program for first generation students yet, the Center for Equality and Student Achievement is in the process of developing one through Roadrunners First Committee,” said Matt Watson, a staff writer for MSU Denver’s marketing and communications office.

It is not uncommon to walk Auraria campus and come across a first generation student. They make up 32.8 percent of the MSU Denver population. The university offers a list of campus programs that support first-generation students, including the Center for Equity and Student Achievement, First Year Success, TRIO Student Support Services, College Assistance Migrant Program and Student Academic Success Center. These departments also assist undocumented students and recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or the Colorado Advancing Students for Stronger Economy Tomorrow programs.

“I’m an undocumented student, so, I couldn’t afford going to even the community college after high school because I was considered an international student,” said Sheila Galindo Vazquez, a first generation student.

Carly Cormier, another first generation  student, used MSU Denver’s FYS center to help her through her journey.

“College was an intimidating thought. It was something that I had no knowledge of, or anyone to look up to for. Being a part of Metro’s First Year Success program kept me going,” Cormier said.

According to the website, the FYS center is the entry point for all starting MSU Denver students. It is designed to help first-year students develop college level skills, while also creating relationships with faculty, other students and the campus as a whole.

Isabella Bonato, an MSU Denver student said that she had used the tutoring area of the Student Academic Success Center when she was struggling with math during her first year in the university.

“I don’t think I would have passed without having the tutoring department help me,” Bonato said.


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