The webinar will begin with a focus on existing research on (and with relevance to) first-generation students and their academic experience (e.g., Baldwin et al., 2021), including contemporary research on levels of “first-generationness” (Darrah, Humbert, & Stewart, 2022), and theoretical frameworks (e.g., Yosso’s Community Cultural Wealth Model, 2005). Information about gateway courses and the gateway course impact on students identifying as first generation will also be discussed. This part of the presentation will include several reflective questions aimed at helping participants understand the nuances associated with first-generation student identities.
Then, we will explore pedagogies and practices—ranging from examples of small teaching practices to more extensive forms of course redesign—all of which are particularly responsive to students who identify as first generation. Furthermore, the emphasis will be on small changes that are evidence-based and applicable across the disciplines and modes and modalities. Specifically, we will explore aspects of humanized/humanizing and critical compassionate pedagogy (an approach used with first-generation identifying students), and the use of the Transparency in Learning and Teaching or TILT framework and Universal Design for Learning to reduce or remove aspects of unwritten curriculum and provide opportunities for all students to be successful in our courses. This section will conclude with a brief introduction to and discussion about designing our courses to foster self-regulated learning—a metacognitive approach to learning that can benefit all students—but has all been found improve course performance for first-generation identifying students (Bernacki, Vosicka, & Utz, 2016; Vosicka & Utz, 2017, as cited in Horrowitz, 2019, p. 25).
Finally, we will reflect on and commit to ways in which we can incorporate the strategies, approaches, and ideas from the webinar into our own teaching practice.