Julie Carballo, North Central College director of First-Generation Programs and Veteran and Military Student Services coordinator, was selected recently by Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education (NASPA) to be a leading voice in its newly formed Center for First-generation Student Success.
First-generation students are defined as neither parent having a four-year degree. As a result, these students often face unique challenges adapting to college life.
According to NASPA, the new Center will serve as “the primary entity to increase the research, scholarship, and effective practice supporting first-generation student success and to expand the number of institutions with evidence-based programs.”
Carballo has been working with first-generation students since assuming her current role in 2014. Previously, she was part of North Central’s education faculty for 15 years. Carballo directs the Cardinal First program, which supports all first-generation students, and Teach First, which helps mentor first-generation students studying to become teachers. For both programs, Carballo organizes events to help students adjust to the college environment. Some 38 percent of North Central students are first-generation students, emphasizing the impact of Carballo’s work.
Cardinal First and Teach First programming focuses on making the most of college and life after college. Programs include résumé workshops, undergraduate research information sessions, and presentations on how to dress and interview professionally. North Central students also are mentored by 25 faculty members, who are first-generation, and 18 first-generation staff members.
Carballo (photo, below) is one of 14 individuals selected to serve in the inaugural advocacy group of scholars, practitioners and student success leaders. Group members will advocate for both the Center and their respective campus communities.
NASPA hopes its new Center will address the needs of this growing and unique student population by providing resources for current first-generation programs and facilitating the creation of new programs at colleges and universities. The Center will be based at NASPA headquarters in Washington, D.C.
By Mark Mullane ’17/ M ’19