Elon team attends First Scholars Leadership Academy

Four staff and faculty represented Elon at First Scholars Leadership Academy to advance first-generation initiatives on campus.

Darynha Gnep, graduate apprentice for First-Generation Student Support Services, Sabrina Thurman, assistant professor of psychology, Jessie Moore, director of the Center for Engaged Learning, and Paul Miller, associate provost for academic excellence, represented Elon University at the First Scholars Leadership Academy on March 31 and April 1 in Boston, Massachusetts. The academy was hosted by the NASPA Center for First-Generation Student Success.

Elon was selected to join the network’s inaugural First Scholars cohort in 2020 after demonstrating a commitment to advancing the outcomes of first-generation students through improving both first-generation student success initiatives and institution-wide approaches. Due to COVID-19, the recent academy in Boston was the first time representatives from the inaugural cohort have met in person.

First Scholars supports the institutional desire to scale programmatic initiatives to support first-generation students throughout the student lifecycle and beyond. First Scholars draws upon carefully crafted institution-focused and student-centered actionable outcomes designed to deliver these results and provides tools and guidance designed to work within Elon’s specific environment.

Elon’s team spent two intensive days engaged in strategic planning and will work with campus partners and students to complete a comprehensive needs assessment and data mapping this spring.

Gnep and Moore also attended a “Creating Sustainable Institutional Structures to Advance First-Generation Student Success” workshop hosted by NASPA’s Center for First-Generation Student Success on April 2.

At Elon, a student is a first-generation college student if neither parent(s)/legal guardian(s) has earned a bachelor’s degree (four-year degree). A student is still considered to be a first-generation college student even if a sibling has already completed a four-year college degree.

To learn more about first-generation efforts at Elon University visit First-Generation Student Support Services, housed in the Center for Access and Success.