An innovative program called Carolina Firsts that targets first-generation students at UNC has won an award from the College Board Advocacy and Policy Center.
A 2012 CollegeKeys Compact Innovation Award was given to Carolina Firsts (http://firstgeneration.unc.edu) for its demonstrated efforts in encouraging the enrollment, retention and graduation of first-generation college students.
Carolina Firsts was among three regional winners of 16 national winners of the awards. The winners were judged on the following criteria: relevance, innovation, impact and potential.
Nearly 20 percent of all undergraduates at Carolina are first-generation college students. Carolina Firsts reaches out to these students and their families throughout their University journey, from acceptance to orientation to the first-year experience to graduation. At graduation, these students are invited to wear a special “firsts” pin with their cap and gown. Carolina Firsts includes University programs and initiatives, as well as a student organization.
In surveys, students who participate in Carolina Firsts programs say they have developed “an enhanced sense of pride,” as well as “a sense of belonging” at UNC.
The College Board and Advocacy Center, based in New York City, was established to help “transform education in America.” The Center works to ensure that students from all backgrounds have the opportunity to succeed in college and beyond.
For more information on the College Board, visit http://www.collegeboard.org.