Educating a diverse population in the liberal arts

For personal, professional and global responsibility

In the tradition of the Sisters of Notre Dame

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FirstGen Center

What does it mean to be FirstGen?

First-generation college students are students who will be among the first in their family to graduate with a four-year degree. They are trailblazers and change-makers.

The FirstGen Center

The FirstGen Center is a supportive community of first-generation students, faculty, alumni and local professionals. Our mission is to empower first generation students to successfully navigate their college experience and persist to graduation through resiliency coaching, supportive services and leadership opportunities.

The FirstGen Center:

  • Connects first generation students to resources and supports on campus that will increase their academic success and connection
  • Fosters meaningful peer and faculty/staff relationships
  • Provides leadership and mentorship opportunities to enhance students‘ personal growth and professional development
  • Assists students during the transition from high school to college and college to career
  • Provides various groups to meet students’ social, emotional, and academic needs
  • Hosts dinners, social events, and networking opportunities

What is resiliency coaching?

Strengths-based individualized support from FirstGen Staff to help students to overcome challenges and persist to graduation through developing perseverance, determination and grit. Our team includes a Licensed Social Worker who works one-on-one with students to develop protective factors:

  • Supportive relationships – connection to peers, mentors, professors, etc.
  • Opportunities for engagement to develop skills, goals and interests
  • Positive self-image and increased self-confidence

Career Closet

Our Career Closet provides professional clothing, at no cost, to students for upcoming campus events, job shadowing, internships, interviews, networking events, and employment. Contact Brooke Peppard at or Franceska Jones at to make an appointment for a “personal shopper” experience if unable to attend an upcoming “Pop-Up Shop” event on campus.

We will host a “Pop-Up Shop” Wednesday, March 11 from 1-3 pm in the foyer of the Administration Building.

Clothing and accessories for men and woman, all sizes and seasons, will be available on a first-come basis. A limited number of clothing items allowed will be allotted per student based on availability.

If you are interested in donating items for future Career Closet inventory, click here for a list of desired items and for further details.

Career Closet Mission Statement:

The Notre Dame College Career Closet endeavors to provide the student body with free professional attire and accessories for use at campus-related events, job shadowing, internships, interviews, and employment. Access to these quality items exemplifies the tradition of the Sisters of Notre Dame and aids student growth in personal, professional, and global responsibility.

We are here to help you!

  • One-to-one and small group support
  • Goal setting
  • Connection to resources
  • Navigate stressors on and off campus
  • Personal growth and professional development
  • Navigate and acclimate to campus life
  • Increase productive study skills and time management
  • Leadership training
  • Mentoring and community service opportunities
  • Support from other FirstGen students


  • FirstGen students have the opportunity to become a part of our Mentorship Program which allows them to mentor first year students
  • FirstGen Affinity Housing in the dorms with a FirstGen Resident Advisor
  • Professional networking
  • Internship opportunities
  • Social events
  • Scholarship opportunities
  • Specialized First Year Seminar


Brooke Peppard, Coordinator of The FirstGen Center

Where Can You Find Us?

Our center is located on the 1st floor of the Clara Fritzsche Library Building by the Falcon’s Nest!


Monday and Wednesday: 9:30 am – 9:00 pm

Tuesday and Thursday: 9:30 am – 5:00 pm

Friday: 9:30 am – 3:00 pm

How Can You Get Involved?

  • Become a Mentor
  • Become a Sponsor
  • Provide an Internship
  • Donate


“Alone we are strong. Together we are stronger.”