​ASU Receives Third  First-Gen Forward/First Scholar Institution Designation

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By Hazel Scott

The  National Association for Student Personnel Administration (NASPA) has once again designated Alabama State University a First GEN Forward/First Scholar Institution for 2022-23 academic year.

First-Gen Forward is the nation’s first recognition program acknowledging higher education institutions for their commitment to first-generation student success. 

“We share this designation with other top-tier institutions that have as its focus to support first-generation students,” said Dr. Acquanetta M. Pinkard, Director of ASU’s Trio programs.   

Pinkard noted that as a third-time NASPA’s cohort,  ASU will continue to  fulfill the requirement of bringing awareness to first-generation students globally through its partnership with the National Council for Opportunity in Education. 

Pinkard acknowledged that often first-generation students lack the academic and social capital needed to be successful. 

“These challenges and concerns without the proper support and resources have the potential to overpower or diminish the desire for degree attainment.  Institutional efforts for retention take students’ needs into account and level the educational playing field if more equitable attainment rates are to be achieved.”

Pinkard said that a large portion of ASU’s current student body is considered first-generation.   

Pinkard pointed out that ASU has had a rich history of educating those students who are underserved over its 150-plus years. 

“Alabama State University has a rich history in assisting and educating students who are not only first-generation but, also, students who are from families that experience financial challenges. “The University has demonstrated its commitment to ensuring the success of first-generation students, as well as all of its students who need support and guidance,” she said.