Wednesday Wire : November 20, 2019

  1. Understand First-Generation Families to Better Support First-Generation Students

    Submitted by Dee Dee Snyder,

    College students’ parents sometimes get a bad rap. (Think helicopter parents, or worse, lawnmower parents.) For many years, parents of first-generation college students have been seen as forces “to be overcome” by colleges because these parents are perceived as being disengaged from their students’ college experiences or being negative influences. However, in “TRIO Families: Leveraging Strengths of First Generation Families,” presented at the 2018 Council for Opportunity in Education Conference, Meagan Stark and Dr. Michelle Hurley asked us to view first-generation parents through a different lens. Stark and Hurley contend that a better understanding of first-generation parents gives us important insights into their students, and first-generation parents can be our allies in providing vital support to their students.

    Although we know there are exceptions, research shows that many first-generation students report that their families were instrumental in their “breaking through” to be the first in their family to pursue a college degree (Gofen, 2009). Stark and Hurley asked us to consider ways first-generation families influence their students:

    • First-generation families are often key influencers in their student’s decision to go to college.
    • First-generation parents’ attitudes toward their own education and involvement in their student’s education establishes education as a family goal.
    • Family bonds and family sacrifice to help students get to college are powerful motivators for first-generation students.
    • First-generation and low-income families have experienced success despite exposure to risk and have adapted to risk in order to remain viable in adverse conditions. As a result, first-generation students bring resilience with them to college.

    Given first-generation parents’ influence on their students, how can institutions channel that influence to help support their students? Stark’s and Hurley’s suggestions included:

    • Family/parent mentor program to enhance individual guidance
    • Parent-focused newsletters: snail-mail is the best option for this population
    • Family/parent workshops—timing and location are key
    • Family questionnaire: what do they want to know about the institution?
    • Family/parent orientation outlining the experience for first-generation students: what does a day in the life of a student look like?
    • Financial literacy workshops focusing on scholarships, budgeting for college
    • Practical assistance: identifying food services, clothing resources for interviews, tech resources, FAFSA and financial aid verification, healthcare options

    Over half of Ohio State ATI’s students are first-generation college students, and we have myriad opportunities to interact with them over the course of a year. How might we engage our students’ families to help us retain and graduate our first-generation students?



    Gofen, A. (2009). Family Capital: How First-Generation Higher Education Students

    Break the Intergenerational Cycle.  Family Relations, 58, 104-120.


    Stark, M., Hurley, M. (2018, September). TRIO Families: Leveraging Strengths of

    First Generation Families. Investing in Futures and Empowering

    Families. 37th Annual Conference of the Council for Opportunity in Education, New York.


  2. Growing with the Buckeyes

    Submitted by Uttara Samarakoon, samarakoon.1@osu.edsu

    The Greenhouse Club organized an educational event for homeschooled students on November 19th. They hosted 34 students with their families. Educational activities were divided based on 5-8, 9-14 and 15-18 age groups. Students provided hands-on experience and greenhouse tours for the participants. 


  3. Professional Development Learning Series


  4. Lindsey and Van Gray awarded ALX grants

    Submitted by Kristina Boone,

    Peggy Lindsey and Jonathon Van Gray have both been awarded funds through OSU's Affordable Learning Exchange (ALX) to develop affordable alternatives to high-cost textbooks.

    According to the ALX website, the Affordable Learning Exchange was created to help instructors take ownership of their courses and content. We are here to help navigate the waters of affordable resources and find creative solutions that promote students savings. This includes re-imagining the textbook, encouraging faculty innovation, and empowering our faculty through grants and training opportunities to adopt, adapt, create and share open educational resources.

    Dr. Lindsey will be using her funds to create an open access textbook and resources for English 1109: Intensive Writing and Reading. Dr. Van Gray will be focusing on Biology 1101: Intro Biology for Non-Majors, working to create or identify materials that can be used for labs and lectures without having to pass additional costs on to students.


  5. P-Card reminder for November

    Submitted by Cindy Shelly,

    pcardThe p-card deadline to have all eRequests entered is Monday, November 25th at 12:00 p.m.

    If you are planning to take extra time off over the holidays, please make sure all eRequests for p-card charges have been submitted and all of the documentation is attached to the eRequest.

    Thank you!

    Business Office

  6. Personal Selling class learns about Woosterfest

    Submitted by Subbu Kumarappan,

    Special thanks to Dave Dietrich and Samira Zimmerly (Wooster Chamber of Commerce) for visiting the BUSTEC 2232T Personal Selling class. Their insights and steering committee efforts of Woosterfest were well received by the students.