First-Generation Student Experience

Deidera Dillard

Many students have trouble figuring out college the first year. For those students who are not first generation, they may have gotten guidance from parents or older siblings to help navigate that first year.

For first-generation students at Tech, there are many ways to find help through their college journey.

The First-Generation Student Experience office serves as a resource to all first-generation students on campus. Deidra Dillard, the First-Generation Student Experience office coordinator, said, “we want students to recognize they are first-generation students and celebrate that milestone accomplishment that they have.”

Dillard said that being a first-generation student, she felt that this office would have helped her a lot while at Tech. “Just knowing something as simple as how to utilize the cafeteria, which way the lines flowed, things like that are things I had no idea about, and I was very overwhelmed about,” said Dillard.

The office just opened in July of 2021 to focus more on first-generation students and events all year.

The First-Generation Student Experience office is there to help first-generation students feel more comfortable in the new environment, inform them about the several offices on campus, and aid them in areas they need.

This year the First-Generation Student Experience office hopes to put together a faculty and staff directory. Another thing they hope to develop is a first-generation-specific orientation class.

One thing they are excited about starting this year is a First-Generation Student Experience podcast. The podcasts will cover different topics such as things I wish I knew, being a minority first-generation student, and many more. They will also star guests who are first-generation students or first-generation students. They also hope to bring on faculty and staff members to discuss different topics to help first-generation students. The podcast name is First Gen Table Talks and can be found on Spotify and Apple podcasts every other Wednesday.

The First-Generation Student Experience office can be found on Instagram @atufirstgen. This is where they will post upcoming events and can be used to get in touch with someone from the office. You can also send them a suggestion for upcoming podcasts.

The First-Generation Student Experience office can be found in Doc Bryan 233. Dillard would love to meet and get to know first-generation students and aid in any way possible. Dillard said, “Once I have my person, I go to my person for everything, so that is what I want to be for first-generation students: their person.”

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