May 19, 2022 | Atlanta, GA
The Georgia Institute of Technology will host a one-day First-Generation College Institute for rising first-generation and limited income 8th through 12th graders on June 25 in Atlanta and on July 16 in Savannah. This inaugural event, which will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., is supported by the Institute’s First-Generation Student Programs, the Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC) and the Office of Undergraduate Admission.
The First-Generation College Institute is a state-wide summer initiative designed to identify, engage, and prepare participants in making the successful transition to college while increasing their exposure to science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (STEM and STEAM) enrichment. Planned morning activities include informational sessions on undergraduate admissions and financial aid with hands-on STEM and STEAM activities in the afternoon. The event is free and only requires online registration. Meals and snacks will be provided.
“Collaborating with CEISMC and Undergraduate Admission affords us the opportunity to be proactive in expanding access to underserved populations, especially in Georgia’s rural communities,” said First-Generation Program and Operations Manager Charmaine Troy. “The earlier that students know the college preparation process and the aptitude in STEM that is required for an institution like Georgia Tech, the more prepared they will be for the college application process and their transition into college.”
The First-Generation College Institute is one of the signature programs of First-Generation Student Programs, which seeks to advance first-generation and limited income student success at Georgia Tech through resources and programming in collaboration with campus partners.
When Troy joined Georgia Tech last year to lead the new unit, which is housed in the Office of Undergraduate Education, she already planned to bring such an event to the first-generation students of Georgia. Adding a STEM component to the event was the result of a meeting between Troy and Sirocus Barnes, CEISMC director of student programs. Through its outreach activities and research projects, CEISMC has served as the primary connection point between Georgia Tech faculty and students and the preK-12 STEM and STEAM education community for over 30 years.
“We bonded over being first-generation students ourselves and decided to combine our areas of specialty,” said Barnes. “The program aligns with Georgia Tech’s strategic goal of expanding access. More importantly, this collaboration between First-Generation Student Programs, CEISMC Student Programs, and Undergraduate Admission is a perfect example of a cross-campus collaboration to provide supports to Georgia’s K-12 students.”
Annually CEISMC Student Programs have been facilitating a plethora of STEM and STEAM activities for more than 2,000 K-12 students on Saturdays, after school, and during the summer in Atlanta since the late 1990s and extending its reach to Savannah since 2012. The First-Generation College Institute offers another pathway for CEISMC to broaden participation of underserved populations from the city to the coast, thereby reducing obstacles to higher education opportunities.
“This event is designed to help all students, regardless of their background, understand that college and specifically Georgia Tech, is both a viable option and somewhere they can thrive,” said Timothy Cone, CEISMC Savannah program director. “It was important for us to have an in-person opportunity here at the Georgia Tech Savannah campus as well as the main campus in Atlanta.”
From the beginning, CEISMC has been involved with the planning of the event as several staff members serve on the steering committee regarding logistics and content planning. Georgia Tech staff, faculty, and students will also lead the experiential activities with a focus on Georgia Tech majors and possible STEM-related career choices.
The staff from the Office of Undergraduate Admission will also be on hand to facilitate sessions on demystifying the admissions process at Georgia Tech and provide resources on financial aid, scholarships, and navigating college life.
“By us collaborating with our campus partners, we will help unlock the potential and spark the curiosity of STEM for all first-generation students!” said Leri Argueta, senior assistant director of undergraduate admission. “As a first-generation student and son of immigrants myself, it means the world to me that we do more programs like this because I know what it is like to be the first in your family to potentially go to college.”
For more information about the First-Generation College Institute, please visit: https://studentprograms.ceismc.gatech.edu/FGCI.
—Joëlle Walls, CEISMC Communications