Skip navigation links

Oct. 25, 2023

The future is first-gen: Preparing today for a more inclusive tomorrow

by Dr. Christina Bridges, strategic retention manager

r. Christina Bridges, Ed.D, MSW, a strategic retention manager for Student Success Assessment and Strategic Initiatives (SSASI); the interim director of strategic planning for the NSSC Pathway Programs (Detroit M.A.D.E., Dow STEM, TRIO SSS and Spartan FLI Programs); and the project lead for First-Generation Student Initiatives at Michigan State University poses for a photo.As a three time Spartan and first-generation college student, it’s not lost on me that I was able to achieve something that many have not. Despite knowing that almost half of all U.S. college students are first-gen, there are still many opportunities to bridge the gaps in our support of them at institutions nationwide. The future is first-gen! We have to stay committed as an institution to being a space where first-gen students, faculty, and staff can feel empowered and can thrive. Highlighting first-gen achievements is one such way to do so.

First-Generation College Celebration (FGCC) is celebrated annually on Nov. 8 to commemorate the signing of the Higher Education Act (“HEA”) of 1965 by then-President Lyndon B. Johnson. It’s an annual opportunity to raise awareness of the first-generation college student identity by advancing an asset-based narrative of these students’ experiences. The inaugural celebration was launched in 2017 by the Council for Opportunity in Education (COE) and the Center for First-generation Student Success. Undergrad Ed launched their inaugural celebration in 2019, and we remain committed to this momentous occasion. 

We look forward to a week-long celebration with various events from many of our amazing campus partners. We encourage you to celebrate the successes of first-generation college students by joining us during this exciting week of activities. For full details on the week of events, visit

We look forward to advancing our support of MSU’s first-generation college students campus-wide!