Opportunities for College Students

First2 Network STEM STORY 2 -REAL Experience

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First2: Welcoming All Students as Leaders

All students who participate in the First2 Network are regarded as student leaders; your voices, opinions, and insights are central to our work and can help change systems and practices that hinder STEM student success.

We provide support to students who are advocating for changes in institutional policies and practices in higher education, involve participants in decision-making alongside key stakeholders (such as college presidents, faculty, legislators, and community leaders), and foster early professional experiences.

Have questions? Let’s chat: first2studentcoordinator@gmail.com

Student Involvement:

Students who participate in the First2 Network are members of an institutional team on their campus that is composed of students, STEM faculty, and additional members of their campus community.  Each institutional team is coached to utilize an improvement science approach to test high-impact practices – “change ideas” – that improve retention of first-generation and other under-represented college students in STEM fields. We elevate students to be the agents of defining, implementing, and testing changes towards improvement within their own experience, between their near peers, and across the institutions that serve them. This shift from being “the served” to being collaborators provides deep insight into systemic barriers that are felt, seen, and experienced by first generation rural students within their systems.

First2 students, as part of the institutional team on their campus, will play a key role in managing and operating a student-run campus club (see below).

Students can also apply for a paid position (see below) in the First2 Network.

Campus Clubs:

Campus clubs focus on connecting students in STEM majors to one another (as well as other students and faculty) to increase students’ sense of belongingness in ways that ultimately support their overall academic success. Club activities encompass a range of opportunities such as fellowship, guest speakers, professional development, resume-building, and networking.

First2 campus club officers are responsible for organizing activities, assessing their impact, keeping a budget and providing feedback to the network.

Presently, clubs are active at:

  • Blue Ridge Community and Technical College
  • Eastern Kentucky University
  • Fairmont State University
  • Glenville State University
  • Marshall University
  • Shepherd University
  • University of Charleston
  • West Virginia University
  • WVU Institute of Technology

Paid Student Positions:

First2 offers various student positions, which each come with a financial stipend, to better understand and optimize the impact of our activities on student success. 

  • Assistant Directors: Core responsibilities include serving as a First2 Ambassador to help students succeed. Student Scholars attend club and group meetings, journal about their STEM experiences, and engage in other activities like mentoring, outreach, and conferences.
  • DIRECTORS: First2 Student Directors responsibilities include mentoring underclassmen, assuming leadership roles within the clubs, facilitating effective communication between students and other institutional team members, generating innovative ideas to address barriers to STEM student success, and promoting awareness both on and off campus about the valuable opportunities that First2 offers.

Interested in joining a campus club or learning more about the process to apply for a paid student position? Contact us at first2studentcoordinator@gmail.com or using the form below!

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