News from campus and beyond

Furman named to inaugural cohort of First Forward institutions

Furman University has been named to the 2019-20 inaugural cohort of 80 institutions dedicated to first-generation student success — First Forward.

First Forward is a program of the Center for First-generation Student Success, an initiative of NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, and The Suder Foundation.

first forward

Furman is named among the inaugural cohort of 80 First Forward institutions.

The First 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 access to Center’s research and resources.

“Furman’s commitment to helping first-generation students find a college pathway begins by engaging Greenville County schools as well as schools in several rural counties around the state, where our goal is to help students find their best college fit, be it Furman or another institution,” said Neil Jamerson, Furman assistant vice president for student development.

“When first-generation students choose Furman, a myriad of advisors and mentors work diligently to insure college access translates to degree attainment. Nationally, only 26 percent of first-generation students will graduate within eight years of entering college. Furman’s first-generation students graduate at nearly three times that rate, and selection as a First-Forward campus will help us develop this advantage,” added Jamerson.

“The Center is pleased to welcome Furman into our inaugural cohort of First Forward institutions. Through the application process, it was evident that Furman is not only taking steps to serve first-generation students but is prepared to make a long-term commitment and employ strategies for significant scaling and important advances in the future,” said Sarah E. Whitley, senior director of the Center for First-generation Student Success.

As a First Forward Institution, select faculty and staff will have multiple opportunities to engage with peer and aspirational institutions who are also creating environments that improve the experiences and outcomes of first-generation students.

Selected institutions will send representatives to the First Forward Workshop to be held in Orlando in June and will participate in 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.

View the full list of 2019-20 First Forward institutions. For more information, visit the Center for Inclusive Communities. Or contact Neil Jamerson at 864-294-3104, and, or The Furman News and Media Relations office may be reached at 864-294-3107.

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 eight U.S. territories. Visit for more information.

About The Center for First-generation Student Success
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 its strategic priority areas, the Center drives higher education innovation and advocacy for first-generation student success.

Last updated May 16, 2019
Share This
Contact Us
Clinton Colmenares
News & Media Relations Director