Tweet Chat: Game Changers for #FirstGen College Student Success

First to Finish College
July 25, 2014

August 6th Tweet Chat:  Game Changers for #FirstGen College Student Success

Join us for a Tweet Chat to identify innovative policies and practices that can improve first gen college success. Exchange insights about what’s working and what’s possible to help first-generation college students succeed in and after college.

Co-hosted by Eric Waldo, Executive Director of First Lady Michelle Obama's Reach Higher Initiative; United Way Worldwide; Michael & Susan Dell Foundation; I’m First; Let's Get Ready; First Generation Film; SEO Scholars; College Greenlight; The National Council of Young Leaders; Bottom Line; College Summit; Graduate NYC!; The Forum for Youth Investment; Demos; and

With: first gen expert Yolanda Norman (@FirstGenCollege), UVA professor Ben Castleman (@Ben
Castleman), college counselor and author Joshua Steckel (@JoshuaSteckel1), Demos’ higher ed policy
expert Mark Huelsman (@MarkHuelsman), Forum for Youth Investment CEO Karen Pittman (@KarenPittman) and more.


SparkAction and Demos’ Fellow Jennifer Wheary (@edteachpolicy)


August 6, 2014, 4-5pm Eastern

How to Participate

Using your Twitter account, follow the hashtag #FirstGen from 4-5pm Eastern on August 6th to join the conversation. Be sure to use the hashtag in your posts so they are included in the Chat.

Guiding Questions

Q1.What supports are crucial to more first gen students succeeding in college?

Q1a. What obstacles exist to their receiving those supports – and what are examples of effective ways to overcome those obstacles?

Q2. What types of advocates and advocacy are crucial to student success?  Who most effectively plays that role for first-gen students?

Q3. Describe the "dream team" of policies and practices that would add up to a larger number of first gen (and low-income) students graduating?

Q4. What innovations have you seen that are working to improve student success?

Q5. What do colleges not "get" about first-gen students, and what do students not "get" about colleges that leads to crucial disconnects that impede the progress toward graduation?

Q5a. What are examples of ways to bridge these disconnects?

Share this!

Here are a few sample Tweets to alert your networks in advance:

  • What’s working and what’s possible to help #firstgeneration college students succeed? Join the discussion, Aug 6, 4-5 EST. Use #firstgen!
  • What supports are crucial to first-gen students succeeding in college?Join the firstgen Chat Aug 6, 4-5 EST.

For more information, please contact:

Jazmine Johnson, SparkAction at