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National Honor for Commitment to First-Generation Student Success

Green Bay, Wis.— The Center for First-generation Student Success, an initiative of NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education and The Suder Foundation, recently announced the 2021-22 First-gen Forward cohort, which included the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. UW-Green Bay is the first UW System institution to be recognized as a First-Gen Forward institution.

The First-gen Forward designation recognizes institutions of higher education which have demonstrated a commitment to improving experiences and advancing outcomes of first-generation college students. Selected institutions receive professional development, community-building experiences, and a first look at the Center’s research and resources.

At UW-Green Bay, 34.2% (2,356) undergraduate students and 11.2% (51) graduate students are recognized as first-generation student—the first in their families to pursue a college degree.

“This exciting opportunity reaffirms UW-Green Bay’s commitment to the success of our first-generation college students, said Corey King, vice chancellor, University Inclusivity & Student Affairs. “This collaborative partnerships with Academic Affairs is another milestone in our institutional efforts to become an inclusive and welcoming university.”

UW-Green Bay among nearly 80 higher education institutions selected to participate in the 2021-22 cohort. Universities who have been recognized as first-gen forward institutions include the University of Florida, Ohio State, Rutgers, UNC-Chapel Hill, Colorado State, Georgetown, Clemson, Florida State, UC-Santa Barbara and CSU-Sacramento.

“When First-Generation College Students choose UW-Green Bay, they entrust us with providing the required curricular and co-curricular opportunities to ensure their success though degree completion and beyond,” King stated. “UW-Green Bay recognizes that the success of First-Generation College Students opens the pathway for future generations.”

King said that being part of this cohort will help UW-Green Bay be part of the solution toward higher college attainment levels in Wisconsin. “As a University, we take great responsibility in being part of the solution,” King said.

“First-gen Forward now recognizes and supports over 200 diverse institutions across three cohorts, all of which continue to lead the nation through their commitment to first-generation student success. We are pleased to welcome UW-Green Bay for its long-term commitment and demonstrated strategies for advancing first-generation student initiatives,” said Dr. Sarah E. Whitley, assistant vice president, Center for First-generation Student Success.

As a First-gen Forward Institution, interested faculty and staff will be afforded multiple opportunities to engage with peer institutions who are also creating environments that improve the experiences and outcomes of first-generation students. Selected institutions will send representatives to the First-gen Forward Workshop slated for early-June and will participate in monthly phone calls, virtual professional development, goal setting, blog development, annual reporting, and more. After two successful years in the program, institutions are eligible to apply for the advisory leadership designation.

At UW-Green Bay, Corey King, vice chancellor for University Inclusivity & Student Affairs; Jen Jones, assistant vice chancellor for Enrollment Management, and Vince Lowery, director of Student Success and Engagement, will lead efforts on behalf of the University.

To learn more about first-generation efforts at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, contact Vince Lowery, To learn more about the Center for First-generation Student Success, visit


NASPA—Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education is the leading association for the advancement, health, and sustainability of the student affairs profession. Its work provides high-quality professional development, advocacy, and research for 15,000 members in all 50 states, 25 countries, and 8 U.S. territories. Visit for more information. The Center for First-generation Student Success is the premier source of evidence-based practices, professional development, and knowledge creation for the higher education community to advance the success of first-generation students. Through four strategic priority areas, the Center drives higher education innovation and advocacy for first-generation student success.

About UW-Green Bay

Established in 1965, UW-Green Bay is a public institution serving 8,970 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students and 95,000 continuing education learners each year. We educate students from pre-college through retirement and offer 200+ degrees, programs and certificates. UW-Green Bay graduates are resilient, inclusive, sustaining and engaged members of their communities, ready to rise to fearlessly face challenges, solve problems and embrace diverse ideas and people. With four campus locations, the University welcomes students from every corner of the world. In 2020, UW-Green Bay was the fastest-growing UW school in Wisconsin. For more information, visit