FGI Group Listening
FGI Group Photo
FGI Listening Photo


Many first-generation college students have no prior exposure or knowledge of navigating higher education institutions. But what happens to these same individuals after they graduate college and land their first jobs? For most, they find themselves not only learning how to do a job but figuring out how to advance to the next one.

General information

First-Generation Institute (FGI) is an innovative and student centered program designed for students to integrate their college experiences into the world of work. Each topic, workshop, and speaker intended goal is to bring awareness and foster discussion of workplace etiquette and cultural nuances to develop skills and perspectives needed to progress from first-generation students to first-generation professionals 

Program curriculum 

The body of literature on student retention and persistence (Astin 1977, 1993) and in recent decades, student leadership development theory (Lucas, & McMahon, 1998) guide FGI program development, implementation and assessment. As a First-Generation Serving Institution, Sacramento State mission and vision are woven into the curriculum to create an understanding of the contextual and environmental factors that shape first-generation college student experience.

The curriculum implemented for FGI is developed from collaborative partnerships with academic affairs and utilize a network of regional employers and community partners to offer a wide variety of vibrant workshops and expert speakers with three focuses: 1) Communication Proficiency 2) Thinking & Reasoning and 3) Workplace Professionalism. Additionally, numerous sources including National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) seven competencies for career readiness are incorporated into the program design.

Intended Impact:

  • Increase degree-to-work readiness and post-graduation job placement, education or training that will lead to career success.
  • Improve academic success, retention and graduation of students.
  • Experiential learning opportunities that connect students with valuable leadership opportunities and resources available on and off campus.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Develop skills and perspectives needed to progress from first-generation students to first-generation professionals.
  • Create a customize Individualized Professional Development Action Plan to map out short and long term career goals, professional growth, and professional marketability.
  • Establish a network conducive for lasting collegial relationships with whom they can explore their identity and how it relates to their personal and professional success.

FGI intended program impact and student learning outcomes are assessed using an online pre and post assessment for each cohort of students. Formative and summative assessments are implemented to measure students’ perception of their career readiness. The data is compiled and analyzed into a comprehensive report disseminated across the campus and to regional partners.  


Adriane Ceballos, Junior, Criminal Justice 

“The First Generation Institute was well-structured event, from the speakers, to the films, every workshop was new learning experience for me. As a 1 stgen student I am glad I was able to attend and was fortunate to receive such valuable information.  It was a great opportunity to be in a room with others of the same mindset and connect with each other by sharing our experiences.”






Dominic Robey, Junior, Communication Studies

“The institute for first generation college students was a blessing in disguise. This event has helped me realize that I need to be involve, taught me multiple things including essential soft skills to network and has given me the tools to help me succeed in my future endeavors.”


First Generation Storytelling

Each student completed their own spoken word poem about who they are, their success and challenges from the past, present and future in the context of their identity at the culminating ceremony July 29, 2018.

Student Experiences