​​​First Gen Student Success Program​

First Gen Anaheim campus.jfifThe Chicago School is honored to celebrate First Generation students through the First Gen Student Success program!

At The Chicago School, a first gen​eration undergraduate student is defined as a student whose parent(s)/legal guardian(s) have not completed a bachelor's degree in the United States. A first generation graduate student is defined as a student whose parent(s)/legal guardian(s) have not completed a master's or higher degree in the United States.​

In Spring 2023, nearly 55% of all Chicago School students self-identified as First Gen!

Want to share your First Gen support? 

Download a First Gen email signature badge - Proud First Gen or First Gen Ally
Download Zoom Background - Proud First ​Gen​ or First Gen Ally



recap: First gen day 2022

Keynote speaker and expert First Gen researcher, Dr. La'Tonya (LT) Rease Miles, shared valuable perspective on First Gen identity development and graduate research resources within academia and the media. In her talk, she highlighted common First Gen experiences including addressing the "hidden curriculum" of invisible rules and behaviors in higher ed, academic achievement guilt, and creating intentional spaces for family and community where First Gen students are often weighted with serving as cultural brokers for their respective communities​. Dr. Rease Miles shared important practices for inclusive classroom environments as well as takeaways in which the entire Chicago School community can support First Gen students.

View the recording


Chicago School ​Resources

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First gen honor cord program

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First Gen undergraduate and graduate students who are participating in Commencement are provided an Honor Cord to wear with their regalia. Honor Cords are long, thin, colored ropes with tassels on each end that are worn draped around the neck. These cords recognize First Gen students achievements as a unique group. 

At The Chicago School, First Gen Honor Cords are teal and yellow. The teal in the First Gen Honor Cord represents a connection to the past and future. Teal represents inspiration, growth, open-mindedness and uniqueness while encouraging objective and analytical thinking. The yellow in the Honor Cord represents acquired knowledge and continued inquisitiveness. Yellow is an uplifting color that illumin​ates happiness and hope. It evokes creativity and new ideas, helping to find new paths into the future.

If you would like to wear a First Gen Honor Cord at your upcoming in-person Commencement Ceremony, please request one on your Intent to Participate in Commencement form.

Faculty and staff who are first-generation and would like to wear a cord at their campus Commencement ceremony should contact their campus Commencement Coordinator. 

Video Archive ​​​


​​National resources for first gen students ​

NASPA Center for First-Generation Student Success​

​Go College Now!