First Generation Initiative

Davenport’s First Generation Initiative is focused on better serving the goals, needs, and challenges of first-generation students, year over year and onto graduation.

What is the First Generation Initiative?

Our First Generation initiative offers custom programming and strategic activities designed to support first­-generation students to ensure they thrive in their first year in college and ultimately reach graduation.

First Gen
Students whose parents do not have a bachelor’s degree.
First-gen students are 2x as likely to leave school within three years than students whose parents have a bachelor’s degree - according to the NCES.
of Davenport students are first-generation
of Davenport staff and faculty are first-generation

First Generation Student Success Initiative will:

  • be high-touch and proactive
  • integrate all appropriate functional areas
  • leverage current services/activities and create a systemic way to encourage students to use them
  • identify and bridge any gaps in current operations/services that may be a barrier
  • maintain a short-term and long-term vision with activities and interventions
  • track and monitor students and the impact of the initiative’s activities

First Success: Peer Mentoring Pilot Program

Davenport’s Peer Mentoring Pilot Program has proven to be the most impactful, by providing peer mentors for first-generation students. Mentees who participated in the program continue to see higher retention rates than those who do not participate. However, even those 1G students who aren’t participating in peer mentoring are seeing positive impacts from several other 1G activities executed by Dr. Hicks.

  Winter 20 or 19? (Pilot) - Fall 20 Fall 20-21 Retention Fall 21-22 Retention
1G Participating Mentees 91% 68% 78%
1G Nonparticipating students (less than 30 credits) 47% 49% 57%

What’s ahead?

The First Generation Student Success Initiative will integrate best practices and focus on expanding its efforts to support veteran, low-income, racially, and ethnically underserved or marginalized students in our communities.

To implement this initiative, we will accomplish the following:

  • Provide support services across all areas of their academic journey (emotional, financial, co-curricular, extracurricular, etc.)
  • Offer continuous training to staff and faculty to recognize, understand, and address the needs of these students
  • Offer additional scholarships
  • Further establish a communication system for students and their parents to achieve engagement and understanding of services and opportunities

To support this important initiative visit or reach out to us at or 616.233.3417.