First-Gen Forward is National Honor for Commitment to First-generation Student Success

Wilkes-Barre, Pa., March 4, 2022 -  The Center for First-generation Student Success, an initiative of NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education and The Suder Foundation, recently announced the 2022-23 First-gen Forward cohort. 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. Selected institutions receive professional development, community-building experiences, and a first look at the Center’s research and resources.

King’s College was specifically founded in 1946 to educate first-generation students whose parents were coal miners and mill workers. For the last eight decades, the College has upheld this tradition of providing strong liberal arts education to those who are the first in their family to earn a four-year degree with 33% of last year’s incoming freshman class self-identifying as first-generation. The resources from First-gen Forward will complement the College’s current efforts of offering mentorship opportunities, participation in Alpha Alpha Alpha Honor Society, individualized success coaching, student organization membership, and celebratory events.

“The Center is pleased to welcome King’s College into the 2022-23 First-gen Forward cohort,” said Dr. Sarah E. Whitley, assistant vice president, Center for First-generation Student Success. “Through the application process, it was evident that King’s College is not only taking steps to serve first-generation students but is prepared to make a long-term commitment and employ strategies that foster an environment of success for this important population.”

“King’s College is proud to support our first-generation students and strengthen our efforts by joining the 2022-23 First-gen Forward cohort,” said Ms. Rochelle D. Plummer, associate vice president, Academic Success at King’s College. “Our First-Generation Monarchs committee works hard to accomplish our four goals: to advocate, bring awareness, support, and celebrate students on campus who strive to be the first in their family to earn a four-year college degree. As we embark on this newest partnership, we reaffirm the dedication and care that our community has to the first-generation student population.”

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 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.

“First-gen Forward is an exciting opportunity for King’s College to join a dedicated community of professionals prepared to share evidence-based practices and resources, troubleshoot challenges, generate knowledge, and continue to advance the success of first-generation students across the country. We are excited to see a groundswell of activity from the First-gen Forward cohort and know King’s will be a significant contributor,” offered Dr. Kevin Kruger, president and CEO of NASPA.

To learn more about first-generation efforts at King’s College, visit To learn more about the Center for First-generation Student Success, visit