First-Gen College Students

First-Gen College Students


New York Tech strives to recognize, serve, empower, and celebrate our first-generation students when they join our New York Tech community and progress through their academic program. First-generation programs and resources at New York Tech will focus on supporting academic, personal, and professional success throughout your journey toward a college degree.

As a member of New York Tech's community of first-generation students, it is our goal to make you feel confident, connected, and a champion of your first-generation identity.

Upcoming New York Tech Events for First-Gen Students

First-Gen: Who We Are

  • Quick Fact: 24% of New York Tech students identify as First-Generation
    • Designating the first of a generation to become a citizen in a new country
    • Designating the first of a generation to be born in a country of parents who had immigrated
    • Designating the first of a generation to graduate from school/university

Task Force Members

  • Julia Andor, Student Representative, Long Island
  • Tiffani Blake, Assistant Provost, Student Engagement and Development
  • Francesca Bradley-Hightower, Manager, Advising and Enrichment Center
  • Nicole Calma-Roddin, Assistant Professor, College of Arts & Sciences
  • Michelle Davis, Assistant Director, Office of Student Engagement
  • Kevin Gay, Student Representative, NYC
  • Jennifer Griffiths, Professor, College of Arts & Sciences
  • Felipe Henao, Dean of Students
  • Samantha Mon, Assistant Director, Office of Career Services
  • William Palmore, Associate Professor, Professor, School of Architecture & Design
  • Sung Park, Assistant Professor, School of Architecture & Design
  • Michael Urmeneta, Research Facilitator
  • Karen Vahey, Dean, Admissions and Financial Aid
  • Miranda VanOmmeren, Director, Advising and Enrichment Center
  • Rebecca Weintraub, Associate Director, Office of Student Engagement

Faculty Committee Members

  • Jennifer Griffiths, Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Melissa Huey, Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Ellen Katz, Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Niharika Nath, Professor, College of Arts and Sciences

Join Our Community/Get Involved

Are you a student that is interested in joining our first-generation student interest group? Sign up here.

Contact Us/Ask a Question


What does it mean to be a first-generation college student?

A first-generation student is typically considered a student who comes from a family where their parents/guardian did not complete a four-year college degree. For our purposes at New York Tech, we also include students with parents who completed a four-year degree at an institution outside the U.S. as part of this definition.

What kind of support does New York Tech provide to first-generation students?

New York Tech strives to provide resources and services that help students to succeed academically and ultimately professionally, beyond New York Tech. Some of those resources and services include personalized academic advising, financial aid counseling, mental health and wellness support, and career development.

How do I pick a major?

Most students pick their major based on their passions, what peaks their curiosity, or what they're good at. When facing indecision with this, your academic advisor and the Advising and Enrichment Center are great resources to help make that final decision.

How do I find an on-campus job or think about what to do after college?

You don't have to have your life mapped out from day one; and even if you do, you can always change direction as you learn and grow. The Office of Career Services helps students develop the key competencies necessary to make informed decisions and take the necessary steps to achieve their career goals. Through workshops, programs, and individual appointments, our team supports students like you during important career-related decisions—from exploring majors and careers to connecting with employers recruiting New York Tech talent for internships and jobs. Get connected with Career Services by:

  • Activating your Handshake account. Handshake is the #1 way college students find jobs. Log in to explore career options, find jobs and internships, join networking events, and connect with peers and employers. Read this article for tips that will put you on track to landing your next opportunity.
  • Dropping in, making an appointment and getting acquainted with us. Students who are interested in career advisement may schedule an appointment via Handshake or "stop by" Virtual Drop-in Hours. Whether you are just starting to think about your career or beginning to prepare to pursue a specific direction, our team tailors these appointments to meet your unique needs.

Financial Aid Resources

New York Tech Career Resources


Traitify is a personality and career assessment tool that gives you deep insight on your core values and character. It's fast, accurate, fun, and easy to take. Sign-in using your New York Tech email address (, and when you're done, contact career services to discuss your results.


O*Net isn online database that describes careers in terms of the skills and knowledge required, how the work is performed, and typical work settings.

What Can I Do with This Major?

Whether you're exploring majors or searching for information about your chosen field, this website will help you connect majors to careers. Learn about typical career areas and types of employers that hire people with each major, as well as strategies to make you a more marketable candidate.

Your New York Tech Plan:

This timeline breaks down how you should use our career resources each year at New York Tech. You'll learn how to plan your time, build a well-rounded academic experience, and lay the foundations of a successful career.

Additional Resources

America Needs You:

Americal Needs You is a professional organization that fights for economic mobility for ambitious, first-generation college students. They do this by providing transformative mentorship and intensive career development.

First in the Family:

First in the Family provides educational information from first generation college students, for first generation college students.

Council on Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO):

A national organization founded in 1968, CLEO seeks to expand opportunities for minority and low-income students to attend law school. Since its inception, more than 10,000 students have participated in CLEO's programs and joined the legal profession.

I'm First:

I'm First is a community supporting first-gen students, created by nonprofit Center for Student Opportunity, to provide students who lack a family history of higher education with inspiration, information, and support on the road to and through college. It is now an initiative of Strive for College—a national nonprofit that also runs a national online mentoring program for college-bound students.

Year Up:

A one-year intensive training program, featuring six months of skills training and a six month internship at more than 250 top companies. Founded in 2000, Year Up is dedicated to closing the skills gap and close the Opportunity Divide by ensuring that young adults gain the skills, experiences, and support that will empower them to reach their potential through careers and higher education.

Center for First-generation Student Success:

The Center for First-generation Student Success helps colleges and universities to help you to succeed as a first-gen student.