Call for Abstracts


NIU is preparing for an outstanding conference that will enhance your experiences working with first-generation students.  

This professional development opportunity is geared toward higher education professionals, as well as graduate students entering, or currently working in, the academic community.  

We are excited to be accepting proposals for this conference. Submissions are open until March 15, 2018.

Suggested Topics

  • Career readiness programs
  • Sharing experiences, initiatives and best practices used in higher education that influence first-generation student success
  • Assessing strategies and programs used to best serve and sustain the first-generation population
  • College culture and support for first-generation students
  • Resources and opportunities for first-generation students
  • Avenue for upward social mobility and economic advantage
  • First generation as a hidden minority
  • Unique needs of first-generation students
  • Supporting admission, retention and graduate success of first-generation students
  • Needs of first-generation beyond the first year
  • Careers as a first-generation student
  • Socioeconomic status and class
  • Defining the first-generation student
  • Understanding first-generation students and their needs 
  • Discussing high impact practices that support first-generation students
  • Families of first-generation students
  • Advising first-generation students
  • College orientation and first-generation students
  • First-generation college student support system
  • Typical first-generation students

Submission Criteria

  • Content: illustrates thoroughness, quality and clarity.
  • Learning outcomes: include well developed learning outcomes and explains how the learning outcomes will be met.
  • Innovation: represents innovative and/or creative approaches to professional practices, theory or research.
  • Theoretical and/or practical origin: the program is firmly grounded in relevant practical experiences and/or a conceptual and theoretical approach.
  • Relevancy: articulates a clear connection to supporting first generation students.
  • Organization: proposal is detailed and organized that describes a well-planned engaging presentation. 


General evaluation of the abstract are based on a five-point Likert Scale based on the following:

  • Abstract provides an adequate description of the program. (five-point Likert Scale)
  • The presentation would be appealing to conference attendees. (five-point Likert Scale)
  • Strengths of the program proposal. (Open-ended response)
  • Improvements needed to the program proposal. (Open-ended response)

Abstract Submission Form

Deadline to submit your abstract is March 15, 2018.

Submit a Program Proposal