Diversity at the UW

Tri-Campus Support

Many outstanding efforts are underway to support and elevate the experiences of first-generation students at the University of Washington. Below are a few highlights from throughout our campuses:

UW Bothell

  • Since 2007, Dr. Jane Van Galen, herself a first-generation student and professor in Educational Studies, has led digital storytelling workshops and courses for faculty, staff and students, to showcase how first-generation students navigate the social and cultural norms of higher education.
  • One of the more popular programs is the Academic Transitions Program. Sponsored by Coca-Cola, this program identifies and supports dozens of first-gen students with financial aid, special programming, mentoring and high impact learning experiences.
  • Students are also welcomed into the Bothell community through the First Generation Network, a program supported by Orientation & Transition Programs in Student Affairs.

UW Seattle

  • Established in 1968, the Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity (OMA&D) has a long history of providing access and academic support for thousands of first-generation students on campus and across the state. Especially notable are federally-funded TRIO programs administered through OMA&D such as Upward Bound, Educational Talent Search, Student Support Services, and the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program.
  • Two new U.S. Department of Education grants totaling $40 million over the next seven years are deepening OMA&D’s efforts to support first-generation pre-college students statewide.
  • Produced by the UW Alumni Association, the fall 2018 issue of Viewpoint Magazine features the experience of first-generation students and alumni.

UW Tacoma

  • The “We are First Generation” campaign celebrates students, faculty, and staff who are the first in the family to attend college, and the diverse experiences and strengths they bring to our learning community.
  • First Gen Fellows also referred as “First Generation College Students” is an initiative lead by students to support students that self-identify into the program through various support resources and services, and extensive campus referral networks.
  • The Center for Equity & Inclusion (CEI) aims to enhance campus education, develop community partnerships, and cultivate our diverse campus community. Current programs like the Real Talk Series, supports the social and academic success of first generation college students by engaging them in critical discussions on current social justice topics, and encouraging them to explore their intersecting identities through the arts.

Tri-Campus Graduate Student Support

  • Core Programs, housed in The Graduate School’s Office of Graduate Student Affairs, kicked off its third year of programming this fall with the First-Gen Grad Student Initiative. Along with a student advisory board, the initiative creates opportunities for master’s and doctoral students who are first-generation to come together to form community, connections and learn from each other.