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First-Generation Student Success


The Division of Academic Engagement & Student Achievement at San Diego State University welcomes you to our community!

At SDSU, you are a First-generation/first-gen college student if you are the first person in your family to attend college. According to the Cal State University 2018 Fact Book, one-third of undergraduates are the first in their families to attend college. 

We recognize that first-generation students bring a multitude of strengths to our organization and university such as:

  • Inspiration
  • Multiculturalism
  • Bilingualism/Multilingualism
  • Perseverance
  • Resiliency

We understand that being the first in your family to attend college or graduate school may come with unique challenges. To help students aid in their transition, we are committed to providing SDSU first-gen students a connection to:

  • Community: Meet peers that share the same goals, have similar experiences, and are also breaking academic and social boundaries.
  • Campus Resources via:
    • Faculty mentorship and support programs
    • Faculty/Staff guest speakers
    • Research & Service-Learning opportunities
    • Other campus engagement opportunities

2018 - 2019 Academic Year 

Fall First-Gen Student Workshop Series

    • Scholarships & Fellowships - 1st to Apply
    • Goal development and alignment with future careers or advanced degree pathways
    • Identifying mentors
    • Summer research opportunities

2017 - 2018 Highlights:

  • 1st SDSU Coro Fellowship Winner!  Congratulations to Brittany Jones on being our first SDSU Coro Fellowship recipient!
  • 1st to Apply!  Numerous first-generation college students applied for national scholarship & fellowship opportunities. Congratulations to all applicants, honorable mentions and/or awardees!
  • Special thanks to our Gates to Success Student Organization for serving during the 2017-2018 Academic Year
  • Kudos to SDSU Faculty for their inspiring seminars!
    • Dr. Lisa Gates,
    • Dr. Emilio Ulloa,
    • Dr. Marissa Vasquez,
    • Dr. Luke Wood
  • Gates to Success - 1st-Gen E-Newsletter, promoting high-impact engagement opportunities to our First-Generation College student community
  • Scholar Development Opportunities
    • Winning Scholarships through SDSU
    • Introduction to Scholarships and Fellowships
    • Pre-Graduate School Mentoring


To be added to our Faculty/Staff First-Gen Advocate list, please email Dylan Mazelis at:

[email protected]