First2 Network Working Groups collaborate to work on systemic issues that impact all, and in particular, first generation, students’ persistence in STEM majors. All of our Working Groups meet at least once a month, virtually. Four times a year, the virtual meetings are replaced by more intensive face-to-face convenings. Two of these meetings generally coincide with our state-wide meetings. Travel and subsistence for face-to-face meetings are covered by the Network.
Some working groups were called out in our initial NSF proposal, and others have formed to tackle targeted needs of the network. Working groups can be created or dissolved as the network advances. Current working groups include:
Our aim is to improve collaboration between first generation students and faculty, other institutional staff and mentors and to understand and address obstacles to success. We develop and test change ideas that foster better, and deeper relationships between students, faculty, and staff.
We aim to illuminate the obstacles facing first gen STEM students and change the way our education systems do business. Student Leadership is made up of and led by first generation (FG) students. Our members help each other within our school communities, advocate for change, and conduct outreach in our hometown communities.
Our aim is to empower students with a deep sense of belonging in a STEM community of practice made up of peers, near peers and professionals, and increase self-efficacy in their STEM abilities. We develop, implement, study, and improve STEM research internships and other engagement opportunities for early college students.
We aim to increase students’ readiness to survive and thrive in college with the knowledge, skills and disposition to succeed. College Readiness focuses on improving the skills and undergraduate STEM majors, improving K-12 teacher awareness of first gen issues, and expanding the reach of STEM youth development programs to all STEM interested students in WV.
This working group aims to catalyze changes in institutions and policies, build industry partnerships, cultivate long-term network capacity to support student persistence. We focus on industry partnerships and workforce development, student employment opportunities, and policy and resource development.