the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and West Virginia Community & Technical College System’s Division of Student Affairs is sponsoring a virtual professional development event titled “A Shared Responsibility: Ensuring Fertile Ground for First-Gen College Student Success” led by Dr. Sonja Ardoin, which will take place on Thursday, May 25, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. This event is free and open to interested staff, faculty, and administration from West Virginia’s public and independent institutions of higher education. Please feel free to share this information with any colleagues on your campus who may be interested in participating. Registration will be open through 5/24 or until event capacity is reached.
Date, Time, & Place: Thursday, May 25, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. | Virtual Format
Session Description: Colleges and universities often critique students for not being college-ready. This individualistic frame ignores the systemic barriers that first-generation college students face when seeking access to and success in higher education. It is the responsibility of institutions, and the staff and faculty who work there, to be ready for the first-generation college students who are admitted and support them on their pathway to retention and completion. Join this session, led by Dr. Sonja Ardoin, to explore who first-generation college students are, the systemic barriers they face, and the theories and practices that can be utilized to ensure fertile ground for their success.
Sonja Ardoin, Ph.D. is a learner, educator, facilitator, and author. Proud of her rural hometown of Vidrine, Louisiana, her working-class, Cajun roots, and her first-generation college student to Ph.D. journey, Sonja holds degrees from LSU, Florida State, and NC State. She considers herself a scholar-practitioner of higher education; she served as an administrator for 10 years before shifting to the faculty in 2015. She currently serves as an associate professor of higher education and student affairs at Clemson University. Sonja studies social class identity, college access and success for rural and first-generation college students, student and women’s leadership, and career preparation and pathways in higher education and student affairs. Sonja stays engaged in the broader field through ACPA, AFLV, ASHE, the Center for First-generation Student Success, NASPA, and several journal editorial boards. She enjoys books, traveling, music, sports, laughing, and spending time with her husband and pup. Learn more about Sonja's work at www.sonjaardoin.com.
Registration Deadline: May 24