Focus on First Generation Students

Institutions of higher education are focused on closing the achievement gaps within increasingly diverse student populations. We know that many students are intellectually capable of academic success in college and possess valuable non-cognitive attributes that are key to thriving in school and in life, yet broadly effective institutional strategies to promote their academic achievement remain elusive. This is especially true for first generation students, who are less likely to fulfill their academic potential. This issue of Metropolitan Universities journal invites full manuscripts that document evidence-based strategies that leverage first-generation students’ strengths and help them to overcome the challenges faced in higher education.

We welcome studies of efforts at an institutional, system or regional level among all types of higher education institutions and programs. Authors should clearly describe how “first generation” status is defined in the context of their study. Papers should critically examine efforts that have been in place long enough to show positive and/or negative results as rigorously assessed through research and/or evaluation processes. To allow readers to apply ideas and strategies in other settings, authors should provide a clear description of the interventions and evaluative methods used, as well as the challenges and lessons learned. Papers that offer descriptions of initiatives without detailed methodological descriptions and presentation of research or evaluation findings will not be accepted.

The deadline for submission of full manuscripts has been extended through September 17, 2019.

This issue is being developed through a collaboration with the Focus on First Generation Student Conference hosted by CUMU member Florida International University and the Florida Consortium of Metropolitan Research Universities.

Potential Focus Areas

  • First-generation student engagement and programming that promotes retention, completion, and transition to the workforce
  • Strategies that recognize and tap the diverse strengths of first-generation students from various backgrounds and communities
  • Identification of and solutions to barriers faced by first-generation students

Submission Guidelines

Submissions should be prepared in accordance with MUJ’s instruction for authors, and should be no more than 7,000 words, exclusive of abstract, tables, figures, references etc.

This issue is scheduled for publication in February, 2020.

Please direct any questions regarding this issue to our editorial team:

  • Guest Editors
    Bridgette Cram, Ph.D., Florida International University,
    Elizabeth M. Bejar, Ph.D., Florida International University,
  • Executive Editor
    Valerie Holton, Ph.D.,

About Metropolitan Universities journal (MUJ)

Metropolitan Universities journal (MUJ) is the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities’ quarterly online journal. Founded in 1990, the journal disseminates scholarship on cutting-edge topics impacting urban and metropolitan colleges and universities. It is a peer-reviewed, open access publication—which means that it employs traditional methods of evaluating manuscripts while ensuring that those accepted for publication are freely available to anyone interested in the issues and themes covered. MUJ’s readership includes those working to address issues facing modern universities and the communities they serve. Authors bring diverse institutional and professional perspectives to showcasing applications of theory and best practices to these issues.

About the Focus on First Generation Student Conference

Florida International University and the Florida Consortium of Metropolitan Research Universities are proud to present the Focus on First Generation Student Conference. The Focus on First Generation Student Conference will take place April 8-9, 2019 at Florida International University. This inaugural event will serve as an innovative platform for academic and student affairs professionals to engage and share strategies for building institutional effectiveness, increasing equitable outcomes and supporting career readiness of first generation students.

About the Florida Consortium of Metropolitan Research Universities

The Florida Consortium of Metropolitan Research Universities emerged from a common commitment to transforming students’ lives and the metropolitan areas that we serve at Florida International University in Miami, the University of Central Florida in Orlando and the University of South Florida in Tampa Bay. Together our three institutions share the following vision:

  • Success For All: We serve our student bodies and promote success for all students of all backgrounds, no matter what socioeconomic status.
  • Strength Together: As public research universities that also have earned the Carnegie Classifications of Community Engagement for Curricular Engagement, and Outreach and Partnership
  • Improve Lives: A preference for collaborative work to improve the lives and livelihoods of Florida’s next-generation workforce and leaders