Motlow recognized for advancing first-generation student outcomes

The First Scholars Network recently recognized Motlow State in Lynchburg for it’s commitment to improving the experience of first-generation college students on its Moore County and other campuses. (File Photo)

LYNCHBURG, Tenn. — Motlow State Community College recently announced its acceptance to the nationally-recognized First Scholars Network (FSN). Motlow’s acceptance into the network reflects the institution’s demonstrated commitment to improving the experiences of first-generation college students and working to advance their success. The Center for First-Generation Student Success is a globally recognized partnership initiative led by the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) and the Suder Foundation.

Powered by the Center for First-Generation Student Success, the First Scholars Network is a four-phase approach that allows institutions of higher education across the country to advance student success by establishing communities of practice and gaining deep institutional knowledge of success-fueling resources.

“Through the institution’s application process, it was evident that Motlow is not only taking steps to better serve first-generation students but is prepared to make a long-term commitment and employ strategies that foster an environment of success for this important population,” according to Dr. Sarah E. Whitley, Vice President of the Center for First-Generation Student Success.

Motlow just completed the first phase of the First Scholars Network by demonstrating program readiness. After successful completion of the Network Member phase, institutions progress to the second phase, First-Gen Forward, after which Motlow will be eligible to become a First Scholars Institution. First Scholars is the third phase of the First Scholars Network and serves as the Center’s customized approach to intentional institutional transformation in an effort to advance student outcomes. 

As a new Network Member, interested faculty and staff are afforded opportunities to engage with peer institutions also working to create environments that improve the experiences and success of first-generation students, and will now participate in monthly collaboratives, professional development, goal setting, blog development, annual reporting, and more.

“Being named as a Network Member of the First Scholars Network is an exciting opportunity for Motlow to join a dedicated community of professionals,” said Dr. Brelinda Johnson, Executive Vice President for Student Success at Motlow State. “We are excited to be a part of the 2023 cohort of institutions leaning into this national imperative. We are confident that Motlow will be a significant contributor to this initiative that look forward to being a national leader in meeting the unique needs of first-generation students in Middle Tennessee.”

To learn more about Motlow’s available learning opportunities and student success initiatives, click here. •

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