Published: March 19, 2020

The University of Tampa was recently recognized as one of 77 universities accepted into the 2020-2021 cohort of First-gen Forward institutions.

Exterior of Plant Hall The Office of Student Transition and Persistence provides financial and programmatic support for first-generation, underrepresented and/or “at-risk” student populations.

The First-gen Forward designation recognizes institutions of higher education who have demonstrated a commitment to improving experiences and advancing outcomes of first-generation college students.

The cohort was announced by The Center for First-generation Student Success, an initiative of NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education and The Suder Foundation.

Sarah E. Whitley, senior director of the Center for First-generation Student Success, said the center is pleased to welcome The University of Tampa into the 2020-2021 cohort of First-gen Forward institutions.

“Through the application process, it was evident that UT is not only taking steps to serve first-generation students but is prepared to make a long-term commitment and employ strategies for significant scaling and important advances in the future,” she said.

At UT, the Office of Student Transition and Persistence provides financial and programmatic support for first-generation, underrepresented and/or “at-risk” student populations. The office was created to provide leadership and support to students, faculty and staff in the quest for student success and persistence.

Lorie Kittendorf, director of student transition and persistence, said the recognition validates the work the office has done in providing support and guidance for students who may need additional assistance with navigating University processes, policies or procedures.

“We know how important it is to identify students who may need additional financial and programmatic support systems so we can, hopefully, minimize the barriers they encounter and promote higher levels of student engagement and academic success,” Kittendorf said.

Now that UT is a First-gen Forward Institution, select faculty and staff will be afforded multiple opportunities to engage with peer and aspirational institutions that are also creating environments that improve the experiences and outcomes of first-generation students.

The only other Florida university designated as part of the cohort is the University of Central Florida.

To learn more about the Center for First-generation Student Success, visit firstgen.naspa.org.