Life at TU


Counseling Center

For First-Generation College Students


First generation college students are typically identified as students whose parents have no college or university experience. They are often the first in their families to graduate from college. These students come to college with many strengths, including motivation, resilience, responsibility, and commitment.

An increasing number of first generation students are attending Towson University. According to national research, first generation students are more likely to attend school part-time, delay entering after their high school graduation, and work while attending college. A large number of first generation students are women, over age 24, racial or ethnic minorities, and may come from low socioeconomic backgrounds. Although first generation students often receive financial support at the university, they may not always receive the emotional support that is needed to complete their degrees.

Given the strengths of first generation students, some may be reluctant to seek help, particularly counseling. However, like most students, they are also likely to benefit from the utilization of campus resources. Some of the challenges that first generation students may face include:

  • Pressure to select certain majors
  • Conflicting obligations, e.g. school, work, and family
  • Increased awareness of minority status
  • Lack of understanding from family and friends about college culture
  • Different levels of academic preparation
  • Financial demands


The concerns referenced above can prove to be challenging in the academic and social adjustment of college students. As such, several resources are available to aid in the overall experience of first generation students. One might consider utilizing the resources below to:

  • Connect with other first generation students
  • Locate academic resources
  • Navigate the social environment

Campus Services

  • The Support for Student Success Program (S3) is a program for incoming students TU offers which includes orientation, mentoring, tutoring, and specialized advising.
  • SAGE Mentoring Program promotes academic achievement and fosters a sense of belonging for underserved students. The program includes match with mentors as well as weekly activities.
  • The Academic Achievement Center is a full service learning center that provides tutoring, workshops, coaching, and placement testing.
  • The Counseling Center offers individual and group counseling, workshops, and programs to help students make the most of their college experience.


Related Resources


Self Help

Counseling Center
The Health & Counseling Centers at Ward West, 2nd Floor (map)
Hours: Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Phone: 410-704-2512
E-mail: counseling@towson.edu

Make An Appointment

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Call 410-704-2512

Monday - Friday

8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

or visit the Counseling Center

Glen Esk (map)



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