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First-Generation Student Initiative

 Welcome to the David T. Kearns Center, First-Generation College Students!



In its role as the Academic Home to all first-generation college students, the Kearns Center offers a variety of services to support you in your academic, personal, and professional goals. If you are the first in your family to pursue a four-year college degree, you can access these resources, as well as others, through the Kearns Center.


First-Generation Support Services:

Intensive academic advising and study groups
CAS 145: Navigating the Academy, a one-credit course taken in the first -year that focuses on community and resource development specifically for first-generation students
Workshops on a variety of different topics: Financial Literacy, Building a Professional Brand, Stress Busters, etc.
Opportunities to interact with faculty
Assistance applying to summer research programs
Social events & leadership opportunities
Graduate school preparation
To take advantage of these services, please enroll in our Kearns Scholars Program

Other Services you can access as part of the Kearns Center:

Advising Services: walk-in advising and one-on-one advising
Resources: Book lending, access to a computer lab with free printing, access to CHM 131 & 132 study groups, access to summer scholarships for summer courses, access to travel funds and other requests
Research programs: Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program, Xerox Engineering Research Fellows; NSF REU Programs: Advancing Human Health, From Nano to Network, Nano-, Bio-, and Quantum Photonics, Computational Methods for Understanding Music, Media, and Minds

Of course, we also hold social events and connect first-generation students with each other. Perhaps our most significant benefit is our community: we are your home away from home. Many of us were also the first in our families to attend college, or to attend college away from home or complete graduate degrees.

Please take advantage of these services, connect with us by stopping by our center or connect through social media: like our Facebook page or follow us on Instagram!

Contact us if you have any questions or concerns:

Visit the Academic Advisors at the Kearns Center located in Dewey Hall (4-160) during their walk-in hours!

Kearns Advisor Assignments by Student Last Name: 

Kearns Advisor




Last Names

Walk-in Hours

Melissa Raucci

Dewey 4-153



Danielle Daniels

Dewey 4-160



1st Gen Society

The 1st Gen Society is a new student organization committed to providing a brave and welcoming environment to all first-generation students and allies. The mission and purpose of the club are to serve, provide and enhance the personal and academic experience of participating students on campus. From all backgrounds, we aim to connect members as a community united by the vision of equality and pride in our diverse identities.

The Kearns Center works closely with the 1st Gen Society and co-sponsors many events aimed at supporting first-generation college students. To connect with the 1st Gen Society, visit their page on Campus Community Connections or visit their Facebook page!

First-Generation Student and Families Committee

An aim of this committee is to ensure that first-generation college students and families are aware of the existing network of support at the University of Rochester. This committee is comprised of staff from throughout the College, including the Kearns Center, Office of Minority Student Affairs, College Center for Advising Services, Education Abroad, First Gen Society (student organization) and many others. Together, we work to educate you and your family about the experience you are beginning, help you get to know the University community, and enhance your overall experience.  Students are encouraged to utilize all resources and services. Please utilize our website as a resource and encourage your families to check it out too! 

Students at First-Gen Celebration
Kearns Scholars celebrating the First Annual First-Generation College Celebration on November 8, 2017