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WCSU to host day of celebration for first-generation students

DANBURY, CONN. — Western Connecticut State University will host “I’m First,” a celebration of first-generation college students, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018, at the Alumni and Friends Circle on the university’s Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury.

Light snacks and beverages will be offered. This is a free and public event, where traditional and nontraditional students, faculty and administrators will have the opportunity to share their own personal experiences as a first-generation college student and the impact that experience has had on their lives.

WCSU will join in celebration with other colleges across the nation that are engaged in a number of different activities to highlight first-generation students on campus. The concept of a “first-generation” student was introduced into federal policy by the passage of Higher Education Amendments to the Higher Education Act of 1965.

As a result of this amendment, the WCSU community has the opportunity to celebrate those who have made huge strides in this country to be the first in their family to attend college. College-preparatory programs like those offered at WCSU recognize that too many qualified students miss out on college simply due to a lack of access to adequate college guidance and information.

Pre-Collegiate & Access Programs at WCSU include Danbury Public Schools Collaborative/Upward Bound, Excel and EA²P (Educational Achievement and Access Program. Director of these programs Rob Pote is an advocate for and believer in the power of education.

“Having a college degree makes a difference to more than just the person with the diploma,” he said. “It inspires others.”

The Collaborative/Upward Bound Program is a year-round, college preparatory program serving approximately 110 Danbury High School students from grades 9 through 12. The Excel Program is a middle school (Broadview, Rogers Park and Westside Academy) feeder program for the Danbury Public Schools Collaborative/Upward Bound Program, currently serving 90 students in grades 7 and 8, while the WCSU EA²P Program is a year-round academic enhancement program serving underprivileged college students.

This event will also offer “I’M FIRST” long-sleeve shirts, buttons, pins and stickers for attendees.

For more information, contact Pote at



Western Connecticut State University changes lives by providing all students with a high-quality education that fosters their growth as individuals, scholars, professionals and leaders in a global society. Our vision: To be widely recognized as a premier public university with outstanding teachers and scholars who prepare students to contribute to the world in a meaningful way.