The mission of Cardinal First is to provide a supportive and welcoming community for first-generation college students and their families, a campus culture that recognizes and celebrates first-generation student identity as an asset, and a program that intentionally connects first-generation students to faculty, resources, information and experiences that promote academic and personal success from enrollment through graduation.
Reasons to participate in Cardinal First:
- Access to a network of first-generation peers, faculty and staff who offer mentoring and support.
- Opportunity to earn a renewable $1,000 Cardinal First Scholarship after one year of participation in the program.
- A series of workshops for each year of your North Central experience:
- Cardinal First Fridays: interactive workshops on the first and third Friday of each month designed to provide information specific to your first-year, first generation experience.
- Cardinal First Sophomore Suppers: monthly workshops for first-gen sophomores and first-gen faculty.
- Cardinal First Penultimate: monthly workshops for first-gen juniors.
- Cardinal First Homestretch: monthly workshops for first-gen seniors.
- Breakfast or lunch is available at each workshop. That's right, free food always included!
- A yearly planner and calendar to keep you on schedule and informed of what's happening on campus.
- An exclusive Cardinal First T-shirt, pen, water bottle and more.
- Leadership opportunities available after one year of participation in the program.
- Special First-Gen Academic Groups facilitated by first-gen faculty—see next section for details.
- Connection to opportunities, information, resources and experiences.
- First-gen Cardinals in Actuarial Science - Dr. Marco Martinez
- First-gen Cardinals in Biology- Dr. Joanna Weremijewicz
- First-gen Cardinals in Business & Entrepreneurship- Dr. Brenden Mason and Dr. Donnavieve Smith
- First-gen Cardinals in Chemistry- Dr. Paul Brandt and Dr. Jeff Jankowski
- First-gen Cardinals in Communication & Media Studies- Dr. Michael Blight, Dr. Kay O'Donnell, and Professor John Stanley
- First-gen Cardinals in Computer Science- Dr. Caroline St. Clair
- First-gen Cardinals in Engineering- Dr. Frank Harwath
- First-gen Cardinals in English- Dr. Jennifer Jackson and Dr. Jenny Smith
- First-gen Cardinals in Kinesiology- Professor Taylor Arman
- First-gen Cardinals in Music - Dr. Larry Van Oyen
- First-gen Cardinals in Psychology & Neuroscience- Dr. Alexis Chambers & Dr. Nicole Rivera
- Teach First Program for first-generation education majors- Julie Carballo, Dr. Maureen Kincaid & Dr. Lindsey Wexler
Cardinal First Transition- For New Transfer Students
For our first-gen new transfer students, we offer Cardinal First Transition- a series of lunch workshops during your first two months on campus. The workshops are hosted by Cardinal First Ambassadors who transferred to North Central and are also first-generation college students. These workshops introduce the new transfer students to one another and to the valuable resources, student organizations and important opportunities available to them.
Cardinal First $1,000 Scholarship
After one year of active participation in the program, all first-gen students are eligible for a renewable $1,000 Cardinal First Scholarship for their remaining years at North Central.
- General Eligibility
- Must be a first-generation college student (neither parent has completed a four-year degree).
- Must be full-time undergraduate student at North Central.
- Scholarship Requirements
- Details regarding scholarship requirements are shared at every workshop.
- Attend required minimum number of monthly one-hour workshops (generally 8/year).
Cardinal First Ambassadors
Our Cardinal First Ambassadors are a group of first-gen student-leaders who are excited to meet you. This built-in network of mentorship and support is ready to welcome you, answer any questions, and provide you with encouragement and guidance as you work toward earning your college degree.