1GEN Student Success

As a first-generation college student, you’re choosing to establish a lasting legacy, to place a marker in your family’s history designating the importance of this decision and where you’ll go from here. 1GEN Student Success exists to welcome and support you on this journey. 

We are committed to your success in school, in your community, in your relationship with God and in your career – built on our values of leadership, community, diversity, resiliency and philanthropy. We walk with you through the challenges, and we celebrate your victories. We are a community that offers encouragement and understanding, from application to graduation.

As a first-generation college student, you’re choosing to establish a lasting legacy, to place a marker in your family’s history designating the importance of this decision and where you’ll go from here. 1GEN Student Success exists to welcome and support you on this journey. 

We are committed to your success in school, in your community, in your relationship with God and in your career – built on our values of leadership, community, diversity, resiliency and philanthropy. We walk with you through the challenges, and we celebrate your victories. We are a community that offers encouragement and understanding, from application to graduation.

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students at football game, refer a wildcat

Vision and Mission

1GEN’s vision is to see you thrive, not just survive, your college experience. We exist to improve the college experience of ACU’s first-generation students, providing empowerment through opportunities that enrich your social circle, increase your engagement and build your foundation.

COBA Building inside hallway

Mentors Matter

Solid mentorship is the core of why 1GEN exists, offering accountability and encouragement for the big and small of college. Underclassmen meet with peer mentors weekly, transitioning to faculty/staff mentors as an upperclassmen looking forward to a career beyond college.

Intentional Understanding

Karla Mendoza may be graduating soon, but she’ll be leaving ACU with a clear path forward for it’s first-generation students. She has been the intentional student voice in the building of 1GEN, bringing her understanding and experience as a first-generation student to the table.

students studying student in hat with laptop

By Your Side on Day 1

Your ACU journey begins the day you decide to apply. If you’re a first-generation student, we’re available to help you navigate the application process all the way through enrollment, offering special sessions to keep you informed and build your support team.

Corbin Student Life Pano

From First Day of School…

Freshman and sophomore 1GEN students are paired with peer mentors, thriving upperclassmen, for weekly hangouts to help you make a successful transition to campus. This is the time to build your community and invest in your personal development and spiritual growth.

female student with notebook

…Until You Cross the Stage

1GEN juniors and seniors transition to peer mentors, sharing your gained understanding with new students. Upperclassmen are mentored by faculty and staff to prepare you for upper-level courses, job exploration and next steps toward reaching your career goals after graduation.

 

Jordan Jones, Associate Director

Jordan enjoys working with first-generation students as they navigate the ACU college experience, providing leadership for 1GEN program initiatives and connecting students to campus resources. Originally from the DFW area, he graduated from the University of North Texas (‘16) with a BA in psychology and is currently pursuing a master’s in higher education. He lives in Abilene with the love of his life and their goofy dog Bentley.

 

Mary Beth “MB” Strader, Associate Director

MB received an education degree from Northeastern State University and a master’s in education administration from Lamar University. She taught elementary and middle school for more than 20 years before becoming the associate director of ACU Leadership Camps. MB serves in many roles on campus as she loves working with students. She and her husband have a beautiful, growing family they love to spend as much time as possible with.

Become a Peer Mentor

Are you ready to share your valuable insight and gain leadership skills at the same time? There’s no better way to invest in your generation on campus than to share through your own experience. Peer mentoring allows you to continue to build your own community while knowing your work serves another.

Our peer mentors facilitate small groups and fun, social activities as well as contribute as our faculty and staff advisory board’s go-to for student perspective. Good academic standing is required to mentor underclassmen.

If you’re ready to join us, contact Jordan Jones for more information. Our application is available online. You will need a resume and letter of recommendation to accompany your application.

Are you ready to learn more about the great opportunities we offer First Generation students? You can email us or call us at 800-460-6228.

Questions about Classes? 

Contact your academic advisor! Advisors are assigned based on the major of your choice to assist you throughout the college process. Your advisor is ready to help you on your academic journey. You should meet with your advisor at least once per semester to ensure that you are on track to graduate. You can find out who they are and how to reach them here.