Careers In Teaching

Being First Generation

What does it mean to be a first-generation college student?

The U.S. Department of Education defines “first generation” as undergraduates whose parents never enrolled or completed postsecondary education in the United States. As a Careers In Teaching student, you can count yourself amongst a league of extraordinary first-gen scholars. Your perseverance, resilience, resourcefulness, and hard work have brought you to Lehman College, a first step toward advancing your academic, personal, and professional goals.

Careers in Teaching offers the services and support you need to help you do well at Lehman College and beyond, which means graduating on time and knowing what you want to do after you graduate.

  • We’re your support. First-generation students are more likely to feel isolated and alone while on campus. Many of you work while taking classes and are enrolled part-time, take evening classes or have family responsibilities too. You simply do not have the time or energy to get involved on campus. CIT can help you receive the support you need and begin to feel more integrated with other college students.
  • We’re here to listen. In times of transition, it can be helpful for individuals to communicate what they are experiencing and what they need from one another. Our Counselor Advocates are here to listen and to help you navigate through the at times unexpected changes you’ll experience during your tenure here at Lehman College.
  • Being a first-generation scholar shouldn't be thought of as a burden of the past, but a privileged shot at a brighter future. As President Obama stated in his 2011 State of the Union Address:
    • The future is ours to win. But to get there, we can't just stand still. As Robert Kennedy told us, "The future is not a gift. It is an achievement." Sustaining the American Dream has never been about standing pat. It has required each generation to sacrifice, and struggle, and meet the demands of a new age. Adapted from: "First-Generation College Students." Counseling Center. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. n.d. Web. 27 April. 2011.

Last modified: Oct 17, 2011

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