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SCU First-Generation Student Experiences

A guide to primary sources related to the experiences of first-generation students at SCU.

Banner: SCU First-Generation Student Experiences


The goal of this guide is to provide information about primary resources that document the first-generation experience here at Santa Clara University. This guide provides information on SCU's LEAD Scholars Program and its previous incarnation, the Bridge Program, as well as the Summer Readiness Program; student and administration perspectives regarding first-generation student experiences and issues; and links to current campus resources that support first-generation students.

Who are first-generation students?

In general, first-generation students are defined as students with parents who did not graduate with a four-year degree. They may be the first person in their family to graduate from college.  

Video: Why first-generation students need mentors who get them

From PBS News Hour - When Jennine Capó Crucet was a college freshman, her parents stayed for her entire orientation. It wasn’t because they especially wanted to; they just didn’t know what they were meant to do. As a first-generation college student, Crucet was not aware of the norms understood by most of her peers. Now a novelist and professor, she gives her take on what first-generation students need.

Video: Santa Clara University LEAD Scholars Program

The following video footage was pre-recorded throughout the month of September 2019. This video depicts the unique stories and experiences our LEAD Scholars endure as being the first in their families to attend college. As first-generation college students, the LEAD Scholars Program at SCU provides students with a community they can rely on to help them navigate the university. LEAD addresses the holistic experience through the various resources we provide our students. Video is from the LEAD Scholars Program youtube channel.