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First Generation

First-generation college students are defined as “any student whose parents, or guardians, did not complete a four-year college or university degree”. Many first-generation college students experience unique strengths and challenges in the pursuit of a college education. Many of them may have to learn to adjust to the academic culture while maintaining the culture and traditions of their family of origin. The UHV Student Involvement office is committed to supporting and nurturing students’ intellectual, social, personal, and professional development by coordinating interactive programs and activities specific to the needs of first-generation students.

First-Gen Mentors

UHV has numerous students, staff, and faculty members that have committed to supporting first-generation students. They have agreed to uphold the following statements:

Mentors represent themselves by placing the following placard on their office door:

I am First-Gen. Lets talk.

If this placard is on the outside of the door, it is a space for you to find guidance and support.

For more information on how to become a First-Gen Mentor, contact Freddie Cantu.

First-Gen Graduation Cords

The Student Involvement office would like to celebrate the accomplishments of UHV first-gen students by providing free graduation cords to all upcoming graduates who identify as first-generation. First-gen graduation cords are a beautiful turquoise color, that will stand out as you walk the commencement stage.

Registration for graduation cords

If you are a first-gen student who will be graduating this semester, and would like to have a free cord, please fill out the First-Gen Graduation Cord Registration form. The deadline to register for all fall graduates is Friday, Dec. 6 at midnight. Once you register, your cord will be available for pick up at graduation. Please feel free to reach out to Freddie Cantu in Student Involvement if you have any questions!

jax at homecoming

First-Gen Resources

A list of resources, both on- and off-campus:




Videos for Inspiration