First-Generation Family Toolkit

Blue person throwing graduation cap in the air. The text I’m FIRST-GEN is underneath with different primary colored foot prints surrounding the person.

Who are first-generation college students at Western?

Any student who indicates on their Western application that neither of their parents have earned a bachelor's degree. 

Purpose of the First-Generation College Student Family Toolkit

Based on feedback from first-generation students, we've learned that many would feel more supported if their families had a better understanding of the college experience. In response, we’ve designed a "toolkit" that aligns the most common practices of successful students with available campus support services and resources. The toolkit offers helpful insight to parents and families as they transition to their new and often changing role as: coaches, partners, or cheerleaders to name a few. The amount of support provided may ebb and flow over time as students strengthen the skills they need to succeed at Western.

What does it take to be successful at Western?

Over the years, we have learned from students that they're most successful when they are:

Staying Healthy

People running with sun setting in background

Encourage your student to keep themselves healthy by becoming active in their own wellness.

Being Financially Responsible

Person wearing a blue dress shirt counting gold coins at a table

Learn how to support your student to manage their own finances.

Forming Support Networks

Group of 5 people sitting out side together and smiling for camera

Positive approaches for coping with setbacks and struggles. Help your student connect and engage with others.

Speaking Western

Group of students in Red Square. One is holding a WWU/Viking flag.

A guide to some of the unique words and expressions that are used at Western.

Managing Time

Old watch with roman numerals on face  with sidewalk and leaves in background

Coach your student to use a calendar to note important dates and deadlines.

Reflecting on College

group of graduates after WWU graduation ceremony

Help your student identify what they want to achieve by the time they graduate. 

Encourage your student to review available services to support their academic success at Western by visiting the Tutoring Center, The Academic Advising & Student Achievement Center, and their instructor’s office hours well before midterms — even if things are going well. For a full list of Campus Resources, visit the Viking Resource Hub.


First-Generation Voices Of Success

At Western, we want to celebrate the successes of our first-generation community – be that students, staff or faculty. We hope you will enjoy and gain valuable understanding as you hear from voices of experience.


What else would be helpful to see on this page? Share with us below. 

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