Changing the institution from the inside out
Across highly-selective schools, universities have begun to recognize that first-generation college students are an important part of their college communities. From application to matriculation, first-generation college students demonstrate an initiative to be a trailblazer for their families and communities.
However, for most first-generation college students, the college application process is only one of many associated hurdles that they face. Without a guide or a firm system of support, first-generation college students are unable to anticipate and develop a plan to tackle these issues.
If universities are specifically recruiting first-generation college students to their campuses, they have the responsibility to support students holistically, from the first day of school through graduation.
The role of the Ambassador
Ambassadors are selected because they understand the grander vision of EdMobilizer: How can UFLI students think about themselves as bicultural—able to exist in both their home communities, and their current school—in a way that encourages them to leverage their newfound social capital to make a more equitable world? They are differentiated from the Mobilizer Network, as they emphasize the potential of societal, rather than institutional change.
They function as an inter-university coalition that dictates the content of the conference, its mission, and the logistics leading up to the conference. They work in tandem with the rest of the students involved in 1vyG and UFLI work at their respective schools to best inform their work based on the Mobilizers’ findings. They also do a significant amount of the non-hosting school’s work—namely advertising on-campus, representing each school’s perspective experiences, and figuring out transportation to and from their event.
Their main task might be to help plan the conference, but on a more abstract level, they are responsible for bringing together broad stakeholders in first-generation college students in order to connect them to the grander vision.
The Role of the Mobilizer
Mobilizers are charged with working with their peers, administrators, and faculty to create institutional changes that better serve first-generation college students.
- Mobilizers will work in a cross-university team to develop and share new ideas, initiatives, and approaches targeted to support first-generation college students across social, academic, financial, and emotional lines.
- Mobilizers are responsible for initiating a campus-wide dialogue about first-generation college student needs. They will begin conversations, share knowledge, and adapt many existing ideas to the unique context of their campuses.
- At the 1vyG and FLI Conference, Mobilizers will share the current state of first-generation programming at their school. Mobilizers will draft a report by the end of the year that outlines existing first-generation supports across all the Ivies, with the hope of shedding light on the needs of first-gens.