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First Gen: First Step

More than one-third of college students are the first in their families to go to college!

“First Generation College Student” is a unique identity. But what does it mean?
If your parents or legal guardians did not complete a bachelor’s degree, then you are considered a first-generation college student.

First Gen, First Step Program

The College for Creative Studies’ First Gen, First Step leadership program was developed to assist incoming First Gen students acclimate to campus life, provide in-depth resources, and create a close-knit community to prepare them for success in their first year of college.

Throughout this three-day leadership development program, five selected First Gen students will get closely connected with CCS campus resources, dive into better understanding their strengths, and gain invaluable skills to thrive in college. With peer and staff mentorship, and opportunities to explore Detroit, students will quickly become integrated into a new and supportive CCS community.

Students selected for the program can expect to:

  • Get personally connected with Campus Resources, such as Financial Aid, Center for Tutoring & Writing, Career Development, Wellness Center, and more.
  • Gain insight to their innate strengths & how to use them to succeed.
  • Find community with fellow First Gen students.
  • Learn more about on-campus jobs & how to balance working while going to school.
  • Meet with peer, faculty, & staff mentors who are also First Gens.
  • Get tips on how to access & utilize your faculty members.
  • Engage in community-building activities in Detroit.
  • Have the option to enroll in a First-Gen specific First Year Experience course for Fall 2021.

First Year Experience: First Gen

CCS is proud to offer a section of our First Year Experience (FYE) course dedicated specifically to our incoming first-generation college students. Not only do we focus on academic preparedness, skills, and success, but we also discuss topics that are often unique to First Gen students, such as: balancing school while working, navigating financial aid, connecting with your professors, finding your community at CCS, and more! Using a strengths-based approach, we will dig deeper into what makes you unique as a human & as a First Gen student, and how that will serve you in your time at CCS. 

The majority of new, incoming students are required to take FYE in their first semester at CCS. First-generation students can self-select into the First Gen section when they register for classes. 

Questions about this section of FYE can be directed to [email protected].

Program Dates

Dated TBD



The First Gen, First Step program is funded by the Applebaum Family Compass Fund.

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