The office of Financial Counseling and Student Services is starting a new program promoting success for first-generation students on campus.
Jordan Jones, associate director of financial counseling and student services is leading this program after working with the first generation students on campus. After graduating from the University of North Texas and working in its financial offices, Jones moved to ACU and became apart of the Financial Counseling and Student Services office.
Having worked with the first -eneration students at UNT and ACU, Jones began to see the opportunity to develop a program on ACU’s campus.
“As I saw the transition from high school to college, whether it was at UNT or ACU, there is a learning curve that comes with it and there is always more universities can do to help out these students,” Jones said.
Beginning with workshops available to all students, Jones came up with a need based on conversations he has had with his first-generation student population and the new program has since expanded. Jones proceeded to work with Tamara Long, vice president of enrollment management and student management, to further develop the program for this academic year.
“As we talked more and more about this program, we wanted to focus on professional development, financial literacy and mentorship because those are going to be the three biggest components these students need,” Jones said.
Mariesha Shaw, financial aid counselor and student services specialist, is a first-generation student and graduate who benefitted from mentorship during her college years.
“I was in my third week of classes when I got a mentor and she walked me through everything. I don’t know how I would’ve made it without her,” Shaw said. “There should be a program on campus to help with those questions and help you get answers.”
With about 10 percent of students on campus being first-generation, this program will serve an important purpose and may possibly help bring in more students.
“Having this program in place and having people there to talk to parents before they get to campus to let them know ‘this is how we’re going to help your students, this is how we’re going to prepare them and this is how they’re to excel in while they’re here’ is a huge recruiting tool we can use to draw in students who will be successful here,” Jones said.
Jones said the goal for this program as well as helping and reassuring students is for students to be involved in it and its organization as well.
“It’s going to be an ever changing program,” Jones said. “We want them to have their own say in what this program is about.”
The program will be having an interest meeting from 2-3 p.m. on Nov. 8 in a location to be determined. Students are encouraged to email Jones with any questions.