First Generation College Student Celebration

I m First Sticker large

On November 8, Southwestern Oregon Community College joins the Council for Opportunity in Education, NASPA’s Center for First-Generation Student Success, the American Association of Colleges and Universities and higher education institutions across the country in recognizing the National First-Generation College Celebration.

This second-annual celebration falls on the 53rd anniversary of the signing of the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965. Among the many resources and initiatives connected to the legacy of HEA is the recognition of the experience of those who are first in their families to attend college.

To promote the celebration and demonstrate to students that many in our community have experienced similar pathways in higher education, faculty and staff on Southwestern’s Coos and Curry campuses are invited to wear “I’m First” buttons. Beginning November 8 and throughout the academic year, students, faculty, and staff are also encouraged to participate using the hashtag #celebratefirstgen in social media posts and pictures.

First-generation students comprise approximately 70% of Southwestern’s enrollment. As an institution we take great pride in supporting their experiences within our community. In an effort to highlight the diverse experiences and strengths they bring to campus, the celebration will include a "Human Library Project" where first-generation students and graduates are on loan to chat with readers and share their stories. There will also be an ice cream social, a slide show of notable first-generation college graduates, as well as “I’m First” buttons for students, faculty and staff to wear with pride.

Activities will take place in the Hales Center lobby on Thursday, November 8, from 11am – 1pm.

For more information or to learn about ways you can participate please contact Michelle Benoit at or call 541-888-7421.