May 3, 2013
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Texas Tech University was named one of the six best colleges to attend for first-generation college (FGC) students, according to The Best Colleges website.
“Texas Tech and the Division of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement are proud of this accomplishment and the recognition that comes with it,” said Juan Muñoz, vice provost for undergraduate education and senior vice president for institutional diversity, equity and community engagement.
Texas Tech created Mentor Tech and PEGASUS (Pioneers in Education: Generations Achieving Scholarship and Unprecedented Success) as a support system for FGC students. Recently, Texas Tech was awarded a grant from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to implement Generation TX in the Lubbock area. Generation TX is a statewide movement aimed at closing the gaps and creating a generation of college and career readiness.
“Providing opportunities for all students is paramount in our efforts to offer a well-rounded, quality higher education experience," Texas Tech Interim President Lawrence Schovanec said. "We have robust and comprehensive programs that aid us in our recruitment of First-Generation students, and this recognition is well deserved.”
PEGASUS is a recruiting and retention initiative on Texas Tech campus that provides academic support and peer mentoring program to first-generation college students.
“We are providing an affordable, quality education for a population that is often underrepresented in higher education,” Muñoz said, “and we are happy to have a program such as PEGASUS to ensure that first-generation students are able to enroll and, most importantly, graduate from Texas Tech.”
Ashley Gonzales, associate director for PEGASUS, said the program is designed to assist those students as they manage challenges unique to students without a family background in higher education.
These challenges include academic progress, social involvement and personal growth, Gonzales said. The purpose of the program is to help FGC students who are new to Texas Tech make successful academic and social transitions into college.
As the program has developed and learned the needs of FGC students, PEGASUS has adjusted to meet those needs, she said.
“Now in its eleventh year, the program has a history of successfully providing an academic support and mentoring experience for FGC students by facilitating a successful transition to the demands of higher education during their initial year of college,” Gonzales said.
Other colleges included are Cornell University, Trinity University, Yale University, Colorado State University and California State University San Marcos.
The Division of Institutional Diversity, Equity & Community Engagement is dedicated to create and support an environment that allows all members of the university community to be academically and professionally successful.