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ASU Designated a National ‘First Scholars Institution’

January 04, 2024

Angelo State University has been selected as a “First Scholars Institution” by the Center for First-generation Student Success (CFGSS) based on ASU’s commitment to advancing the outcomes of first-generation students through improving both first-generation student success initiatives and institution-wide approaches.

ASU was first named a “First-gen Forward Institution” by CFGSS in 2020, and is now one of 15 institutions chosen for 2024 to advance to the First Scholars phase of the CFGSS First Scholars Network.

Dr. Sarah Whitley portrait Dr. Sarah Whitley “The Center for First-generation Student Success is proud to announce the newest members of the First Scholars phase of the Network,” said Dr. Sarah E. Whitley, CFGSS vice president. “Through every step, it was evident that these institutions not only invested in serving first-generation students, but were prepared to make a long-term commitment to radically change the way first-generation students are served and to employ strategies for sustainability and scale for intentional impact.”

Powered by CFGSS, the First Scholars Network is a four-phase approach that allows institutions of higher education to advance outcomes for first-generation students through establishing communities of practice, gaining knowledge of resources, and establishing peer networks. First Scholars is the third phase of the Network and provides institutions with the opportunity to engage in student-centered, systemic transformation through an ecosystem of resources.

Benefits of participation in First Scholars include:

Upon meeting milestones in the First Scholars phase, institutions are eligible to earn the “Champion Campus” designation.

Dr. Ben Lion Dr. Ben Lion “Angelo State’s faculty and staff have always been dedicated to supporting Texas youth and working to ensure our first-generation students and parents are provided with the tools to help students reach their fullest potential and goals,” said Dr. Ben Lion, ASU vice president for student affairs. “Being recognized as a First Scholars Institution demonstrates our commitment to first-generation students and supports our efforts to continuously improve how we serve all of our Rams and Rambelles as we use the network to identify high-impact practices that will benefit the Ram Family.”

ASU’s primary program for first-generation students, First Generation Rams, is offered through the Freshman College and is available to all students whose parents/guardians did not graduate from a four-year university. Components of the program include:

More details about the First Generation Rams program are available at