"Counseling Aspiring First-Generation College Students" was by far the most eye-opening of the courses for me. I taught at a college-prep magnet high school for nine years. So while I certainly had first-gen students, they had been in a supportive and informative environment for at least three years. To get an understanding, through readings and video interviews, of some of the common difficulties for first-gen students really broadened my own scope and understanding.

Below is the presentation I put together for a hypothetical parent information night. It includes sections on preparing for college, paying for college, and going to college.

As an independent educational consultant who does one-on-one coaching with students to prepare for college admissions, I don't come across as many first-gen students. Most of the parents who pay me to work with their children are college-educated professionals themselves (lots of lawyers). However, on my free-to-all website I've made a serious effort to be more inclusive and understanding of first-gen concerns. For one, both the students I followed through the year for my Meet the Class series are about to be first-generation college students. I also added a Glossary section of the site as a way to give basic and readable explanations of terminology used in college admissions that may not be intuitively understood. As you'll see in my VMOSA action plan, I also want to provide pro bono services in the near future, and those clients are more likely to be first-generation.