News Article

FSW Receives First-gen Forward Designation

Feb 25, 2021

FEBRUARY 25, 2021 – FORT MYERS, FLA – Florida SouthWestern State College (FSW) recently received the First-gen Forward designation from the Center for First-generation Student Success, an initiative of NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education and The Suder Foundation.

The First-gen Forward designation recognizes institutions of higher education who have demonstrated a commitment to improving experiences and advancing outcomes of first-generation college students. Selected institutions receive professional development, community-building experiences, and a first look at the center’s research and resources.

First-generation college students are the first in their family to graduate with a 4-year college degree. Approximately 41% of all FSW students are considered first generation.

“First-gen Forward Institutions contribute to a national movement of two- and four-year institutions dedicated to advancing the success of first-generation students, redefining student success as a movement. We commend Florida SouthWestern State College for their leadership and look forward to witnessing continued progress throughout their participation,” said Dr. Kevin Kruger, president and CEO of NASPA.

“FSW is proud of our strong history of serving first-generation students in the Southwest Florida region,” said Dr. Michelle Yovanovich, vice provost, Student Affairs, Enrollment Services, and Athletics. “We appreciate this First-gen Forward recognition from NASPA as we continue to transform lives through the excellent education delivered by FSW.”

As a First-gen Forward Institution, FSW faculty and staff will be afforded multiple opportunities to engage with peer institutions who are also creating environments that improve the experiences and outcomes of first-generation students. Selected institutions will send representatives to the First-gen Forward Workshop and will participate in monthly phone calls, virtual professional development, goal setting, blog development, annual reporting, and more. After two successful years in the program, institutions are eligible to apply for the Advisory Leadership designation.


Florida SouthWestern State College is Southwest Florida’s largest and most affordable institution of higher education. Annually serving nearly 22,000 students globally, FSW offers a variety of nationally-ranked, career-focused academic programs with two- and four-year degrees and professional certifications, several with 100 percent licensure pass and job placements rates. Study and travel abroad opportunities are available for students through FSW’s Center for International Education. Students are also active in clubs and programs catered to their interests. Visit for more information.

NASPA—Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education is the leading association for the advancement, health, and sustainability of the student affairs profession. Its work provides high-quality professional development, advocacy, and research for 15,000 members in all 50 states, 25 countries, and 8 U.S. territories. Visit for more information.

The Center for First-generation Student Success is the premier source of evidence-based practices, professional development, and knowledge creation for the higher education community to advance the success of first-generation students. Through four strategic priority areas, the Center drives higher education innovation and advocacy for first-generation student success.

Last Updated: February 25, 2021

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