Western Nebraska Community College hosted a celebration honoring its first-generation students last Thursday and Friday on the Scottsbluff Campus.
The celebration was in conjunction with the National First-Generation College Student Celebration hosted by the Council Opportunity for Education (COE) and in partnership with the Center for First-Generation Student Success.
“This is an especially important day for student recognition since WNCC has a large number of first-generation students and the fact that these students are more likely to attend a community college,” said Janet Craven, WNCC’s TRIO program assistant. “First-generation students also tend to be older, work more hours while attending college than continuing generation students, and depend more on federal financial aid.”
WNCC handed out goodie-bags, snacks, drinks, and information about support services that WNCC offers to first-generation and other qualifying students. Many WNCC students qualify for these services that include supplemental instruction, scholarship and transfer assistance, study skills workshops, and advising.
Daphne Morales Guerra, a freshman from Lexington, Nebraska, in the Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program uses these services to assist with school work, focusing on a career or education after WNCC, and much more.
“I don’t know a lot about how colleges work and they (TRIO SSS) helped me understand the process and have helped improve my resume with skills and job experience for life after college,” she said.
WNCC and other colleges across the nation have celebrated the day for the past four years. Sunday, Nov. 8, marked the 55th anniversary of the signing of the 1965 Higher Education Act (HEA), which has helped millions of first-generation, low-income/under-resources students persist to degree completion.