Workshop advises first-generation college students

By KC Hagedorn/reporter

First-generation college students attended a March 21 workshop on NW Campus to help them succeed in academic life.

The 12 Laws of Success workshop provided information to guide those who are the first in their family to attend college. First-generation students are those whose parents or legal guardians never attended college.

“I myself am a first-generation college student,” NW counselor Brentom Jackson said.

Jackson, along with other NW counselors, helped put on the workshop. The workshop addressed a number of problems first-generation students face. Sometimes, they don’t know where to get information about the process of applying for and attending college, Jackson said.

Students end up putting too much pressure on themselves to succeed, and they don’t always have the support from family members who have not attended college.

“It all starts off with getting inside and outside support,” Jackson said.

He explained that inside support comes from finding an academic advisor the student can work with as long as possible. Outside support comes from family and friends, either in college or who have graduated.

TCC has resources for first-generation students. Jackson said professors cannot give out assignments if the campus does not provide free resources needed to complete those assignments, such as cameras and computers. At every campus, students can take advantage of CARE Team resources, counselors and free health screenings.

New students can often feel overwhelmed with adjustments to social, work and home life right out of high school. An app called Virtual Hope Box, helps students cope with mental health challenges and promotes positive solutions. The app connects people to resources when they need help and provides distraction from everyday life.

Jackson said communication is key to success for first-generation students. Students were told to speak to their academic advisors prior to the start of the semester, as well as family and friends, for help and support.