First-generation students achieve academic success

(04-11-2012)

A first-generation college student is the first in their immediate family to attend college. Adams State College continues to recruit and encourage first-generation students to attain their goal of a college education. Last fall, seniors Jennifer Cliff, Tucker Jones, Caitlin O'Neill and Raina Walters, first-generation students, said personal dedication and supportive professors helped them earn grade point averages at 3.45 or above.

Jones, a psychology major/sociology minor, managed his grades by working hard and not becoming discouraged. He appreciates the psychology faculty for their support and open door policy. His sociology adviser, Cindy Whitney, pushes him to do his best and has "always been able to provide advice in tough situations." Jones works in the Grizzly Testing and Learning Center as a supplemental instruction (SI) leader. "Being an SI Leader motivates me to keep my grades up."

Supplemental instructors hold review sessions for students in specific courses assigned to them. Students have the opportunity to come to supplemental instructors and receive extra help on homework and review for tests.

Walters, psychology major, also worked as a supplemental instructor last semester. "It helped me put things into perspective how much effort needs to go into school work." Walters appreciates the psychology professors' help in reaching her potential and credits dedication, time management, and organization for her academic success.

Cliff, psychology major/sociology minor, said her good grades come from hard work, perseverance, and professors who provide students every opportunity to succeed. She also appreciates the support of her family: husband, Tom, and their children Michael, Jordan, and Isaac.

"The single biggest service on campus is the advising program," Cliff said. Her advisers kept her focused, listened to her passions and then suggested appropriate classes and electives where she could thrive. Dr. Leslie Alvarez, psychology, and Whitney, sociology, have high expectations for Cliff. "I am deeply appreciative for their commitment to excellence in their jobs and the passion that they not only bring to the classroom, but on an individual basis with their students."

Cliff's husband's support and "taking up of the slack" allowed her to succeed in the classroom and academic realm. "I am deeply grateful for the way he believes in me and has supported my academic endeavors."

O'Neill, a business administration/accounting major, is self-motivated and dedicated to completing every assignment and studying for every test. "I spend a lot of time studying in the library and the business building." Her professors take the time to meet with her and encourage her to succeed.

"From Dr. Jeanie O'Laughlin, who first turned my interests towards accounting, to Dr. Linda Reid, who interested me in auditing and forensic accounting, the accounting professors work incredibly hard to make sure that all of their students reach their goals," O'Neill said. "The business professors are incredibly helpful and friendly in advising students and helping students find careers during and after college."

Six other first-generation students, Matthew Basinger, Fallon Crowther, Marissa Elsberry, Kailee Potter, Mark Potter, and Maria Martinez, also attained above average grade point averages in the fall 2011. All of the students were awarded gift certificates to the Adams State Bookstore for their achievement.