November 7, 2018


First-Gen poster


MSU Billings celebrates First-Generation College Student Week

Commemorative events occur Nov. 8



University Communications and Marketing, 657-2266


MSU BILLINGS NEWS— This week, MSU Billings is joining institutions from across the nation to celebrate the presence and experiences of first-generation college students. MSU Billings and City College will celebrate this national event on Thursday, November 8.


First-Generation Week is a nationwide effort to recognize students, faculty, and staff who are the first in their families to attend college. This initiative is held in partnership with the American Association of Colleges and Universities and the Council for Opportunity in Education.


Last November, the Council for Opportunity in Education's Board, in partnership with the Center for First-generation Student Success of NASPA-Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, asked college access and success professionals to join with TRIO programs across the country for the First Annual First-Generation College Celebration on November 8, 2017 — the Anniversary of the Higher Education Act.


The concept of "first-generation" students was introduced into federal policy by the TRIO community in 1980, during passage of the Higher Education Amendments to the Higher Education Act of 1965.  There are four different TRIO programs on the MSU Billings Campus (Educational Talent Search, Upward Bound, Veterans Upward Bound, and Student Support Services), who all serve first-generation students.  First-generation simply means that a student is the first in their family to seek a four-year bachelor’s degree. 


All faculty and staff who are first generation college students are encouraged to print out the attached poster and hang it up in their workspace. First-generation stickers will be sent out campus wide for students, faculty, and staff to wear on November 8 to show the many first-generation students on campus that they are not alone. Many of us can relate to some of the struggles they may be facing.


Two celebrations will be held on the university campus from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Student Union Building Atrium and Library room 141, where attendees are encouraged to wear their first-generation college student stickers and enjoy a slice of cake. A celebration will be held at City College  from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Tech Building Commons area.


For more information contact Laura Gittings-Carlson, director of Student Support Services/TRIO at 406-657-1668 or