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About Us

Our Mission

The First2 Network (First2) is a grassroots effort initiated as a pilot in 2016. First2 aims at improving the college enrollment rate and success of undergraduate STEM students, with emphasis on rural first-generation students through their first 2 years of college. At the core of our shared vision to improve student STEM success is the assumption that the students themselves should be co-creators of the solutions. In September 2018, First2 received a National Science Foundation (NSF) INCLUDES [*] award of $7.15 million for the next five years. First2 is one of only five NSF INCLUDES alliances funded nationwide. This funding, coordinated through the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC), allows us to develop a statewide network of innovative stakeholders who will collaborate to solve the STEM persistence problem. Through our pilot project, First2 learned of many complementary efforts and projects occurring around the state. The alliance will study, implement and improve these practices and disseminate them state-wide and beyond.

This web site is a resource for research, education, collaboration, and the application of improvement science and Networked Improvement Communities (NIC) practices directed at improving the college enrollment rate and success of undergraduate STEM students. It hosts various resources which will help you learn about your science area, including Seminars, Courses, Teaching Materials, and more. These resources come from contributors in our scientific community, and are used by visitors from all over the world.

First2 also strives to offer interactive NIC Tools which you can access from your web browser to help drive, refine and implement change ideas.

Join Us

NSF INCLUDES Alliance:

Expanding the First2 STEM Success Network.

  • Award Number: HRD-1834595; Principal Investigator: Sarah Riley; High Rocks Educational Corporation.
  • Award Number: HRD-1834586; Principal Investigator: Jan Taylor; Higher Education Policy Commission.
  • Award Number: HRD-1834601; Principal Investigator: Sue Ann Heatherly; Associated Universities Inc/National Radio Astronomy Observatory.
  • Award Number:HRD-1834575; Principal Investigator: Erica Harvey; Fairmont State University.
  • Award Number: HRD-1834569; Principal Investigator: Gay Stewart; Co-Principal Investigators: Roxann Humbert, John Stewart, Marjorie Darrah, West Virginia University