Skip to main content Skip to local navigation
Home » Project Commons » Project 1

Project 1

Challenge Question

How can we break down the barriers that impede the success of first-generation students in higher education?

Partner: Teaching and Learning Research In Action (TLR)

Project Summary

ycn dots

First-generation students in higher education (defined as neither parent/guardian having obtained a bachelor’s degree) have been shown to more frequently encounter obstacles that interfere with their academic success compared to non-first-generation students. Thus, initiatives that uplift and support first-generation students are critical for the success and retention of this population in higher education. Our challenge to C4 students is to model a solution that enhances the success and achievement of first-generation students. This project will contribute to the larger objective of breaking down barriers of inequity in higher education, resulting in a more inclusive undergraduate experience for everyone. Our team at TLR In Action believes that C4 students are well suited to tackle this challenge because of the recency of their undergraduate experiences and their insight into the student perspective. Applicants might have an interest in education, community development/engagement, accessibility, and improving student experience.

Want to learn more? Click here!

Sustainable Development Goals

ycn dots

Organizational Profile

ycn dots

Teaching and Learning Research (TLR) In Action is a not-for-profit corporation that investigates and publicizes effective teaching and learning practices. In addition to researching effective pedagogical practices, we focus on making the results of this research more accessible to the public, particularly through non-traditional forms of dissemination. With a multitude of teaching methods and techniques to choose from, identifying the one that would be most effective in a particular learning environment (e.g., face-to-face, blended, fully online) is difficult. Instructors, facilitators, and trainers don’t always have the time and resources to empirically examine which practices would be most effective in their teaching context. On the flip side, students don’t always know what study methods are most effective. This is where we come in, to help unpack the results of relevant research and make them more accessible.

Partner Website

ycn dots

Learn more about the kind of work the project partner does by browsing their website.

Visit partner website

Partner Video

ycn dots

Key Words

ycn dots
  • Higher Education
  • Student Support
  • First-Generation Students

Additional Resources

ycn dots

Checkoway, B. (2018). Inside the gates: First-generation students finding their way. Higher Education Studies, 8(3), 72-84. Retrieved from

Lowery-Hart, R., & Pacheco, G., Jr. (2011). Understanding the first-generation student experience in higher education through a relational dialectic perspective. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, (127), 55-68. doi:

Spiegler, T., & Bednarek, A. (2013). First-generation students: What we ask, what we know and what it means: An international review of the state of research. International Studies in Sociology of Education, 23(4), 318-337. doi: