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Ramapo College of New Jersey Recognized for Commitment to First-generation College Students

(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)June 5, 2023

Ramapo College staff and students gather at a First-generation Student Center table on campus.

Ramapo College Student Success staff and first-gen students at the RCNJ Family Day held in October 2022.

Ramapo College selected by Center for First-generation Student Success as newest member of the First Scholars Network

MAHWAH, NJ – Ramapo College of New Jersey is one of only 76 new members of the First Scholars Network for 2023-24. The Center for First-generation Student Success, an initiative of NASPA and The Suder Foundation, selected Ramapo College for its demonstrated commitment to improving experiences and advancing success for first-generation college students.

“With over 40% of our undergraduate students identifying as the first in their family to potentially graduate from college, Ramapo College has hit the ground running to impact the success of our first-gen students,” said Dr. Nicole Videla, senior director of the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) and Student Success.  “Being accepted into First Scholars Network shows our long-term commitment to continuous learning as we build the foundation for our first-gen students as they make history at Ramapo College. Two recent initiatives include recognizing November as First-generation College Celebration Month and establishing the Zeta Nu chapter of the first-generation student honor society, Alpha Alpha Alpha (Tri-Alpha).

The First-Generation Student Center at Ramapo College of New Jersey provides purposeful support and engaging services to create an equitable environment for first-generation students. The goal of the center is to promote first-generation student success through learning experiences that cultivate a sense of belonging and encourage holistic student development. The First-Generation Student Center also provides training and resources to campus community members to increase awareness and understanding of the lived experiences of first-generation students.

“The Center is pleased to welcome Ramapo College of New Jersey into the First Scholars Network,” said Dr. Sarah E. Whitley, vice president with the Center for First-generation Student Success. “Through the application process, it was evident that Ramapo College is not only taking steps to serve first-generation students but is prepared to make a long-term commitment and employ strategies that foster an environment of success for this important population.”

To learn more about first-generation efforts at Ramapo College, visit the Ramapo College First-generation Student Center website at


About Ramapo College

Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The comprehensive college is situated among the beautiful Ramapo Mountains, is within commuting distance to New York City, was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and boasts the best on-campus housing in New Jersey per Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Applied Mathematics, Business Administration, Contemporary Instructional Design, Computer Science, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a Doctor of Nursing Practice.


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