PCC’s ‘First Forward Institution’ Status Reaffirmed

Photo of red fall leaves with Warren Cupola in the background.

WINTERVILLE—The Center for First-Generation Student Success notified Pitt Community College this month that the college’s status as a First Forward Institution had been reaffirmed, thanks to its continued commitment to improving the experiences and outcomes of first-generation college students.

Four years ago, the center—an initiative of NASPA-Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education and The Suder Foundation—selected Pitt to join its inaugural First Forward cohort. Out of the 300 colleges and universities that applied for participation, 80 were chosen to be part of an elite community of professionals intent on shaping the direction the nation’s institutions of higher learning take to serve students who are the first members of their families to attend college.

Dr. Travis Kinsey, director of TRiO Programs at Pitt, said it was an honor for the college to earn reaffirmation after making a “significant impact on the lived experiences of first-generation students” since 2019. He said data had shown notable increases in course persistence, retention and graduation rates among PCC’s first-generation students.

“PCC’s first-generation efforts have been well received and supported by students, staff and faculty members,” Kinsey said. “A multitude of campus stakeholders have noted an enhanced sense of belonging and admiration in response to our endeavor in advancing outcomes and experiences of first-generation students. Participation in programs and services, such as TRiO, TRI-Alpha, and 1st Gen Fellows is at an all-time high.”

Two years after joining the inaugural First Forward cohort, PCC earned the Center for First-Generation Student Success’ “advisory institution” designation. Kinsey says reaffirmation as a First Forward Institution allows Pitt to continue serving as a thought leader for the Mid-Atlantic Region of First-Gen Forward Institutions and developing eminent partnerships across the country to share best practices for serving first-generation students with other community colleges and universities.