First Generation College Students

First Generation College Students are the first members of their immediate family to attend college in the United States. Many first generation college students experience unique strengths and challenges in the pursuit of a college education. Many of them may have to learn to adjust to the academic culture while maintaining the culture and traditions of their family of origin. Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is committed to supporting and nurturing students’ intellectual, social, personal, and professional development by maximizing their use of available resources within the university and in the larger community.

Common experiences for First Generation Students

These are some experiences that a counselor may be able to assist you with:

  • Adjusting to the university culture and the college environment.
  • Time management to meet demands of academic, personal, and family responsibilities.
  • Career options or indecision.
  • Doubts about graduation.
  • Relationship difficulties.
  • Talking to family about college.

Get involved on Campus

CAPS recognizes the importance of being involved on campus therefore we encourage students to find events, activities, departments and organizations that interests and serve their needs.

  • Visit the UH calendar to learn about events on campus, many are free or offer a student discount.
  • Become involved in a student organization or a student activity.
  • Familiarize yourself with different campus departments that can address specific concerns, meet specific needs, and offer specialized programs.

The following is an abbreviated list of departments:

How can CAPS help me?

Clinicians on staff offer individual, couples, and group counseling to support you in addressing the challenges of college.

If you are feeling overwhelmed, or are experiencing difficulty balancing your academic, social, financial, and family responsibilities, please do not hesitate to contact CAPS; clinicians are trained to assist you in addressing your concerns. For more information regarding seeking CAPS services or to schedule an initial consultation contact 713-743-5454. If you feel more comfortable expressing your concerns in another language, the following languages are spoken at CAPS: Danish, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, Portuguese and Vietnamese.

Current Programming for Fall 2013:
Workshop Series

First in the Family Stories

CAPS recognizes the strength, determination and support needed to be the first in the family to graduate from college. The following is a tribute to UH alumni, faculty, staff, and students who are the first members in their families to attend college. The hope is that by sharing “First in the Family” stories students will be encouraged, inspired, and motivated to graduate from college.

*The persons sharing their stories are NOT necessarily CAPS clients.

Story Submissions:

If you are a first-generation UH alumni, faculty, staff, or current student, please consider sharing your story. The following are the story submission guidelines:

  • Writers must be the first-person in their immediate family to attend college in the United States.
  • Please include your name and affiliation with UH; share a story that describes your college experiences; the struggles, the victories, the people who helped, and the lessons you learned.
  • You may write in a chronological style or a narrative style but please limit your story to a maximum of 1200 words.
  • These are some questions that may help you reflect on your experience to write your story:
    • What made you want to go to college?
    • When did you first realize you wanted to go to college?
    • Where there people who said you could or should not go to college?
    • Where there people who encouraged or expected you to attend college? How did they support you?
    • What was it/is it like to be the first in your family to attend college?
    • What experience was the most difficult, important, funniest, oddest, most helpful, or most memorable?
    • What advice do you have for other first in the family/first generation college students?
    • Anything else you want to share?

Please e-mail your story, in a word document, to Dr. Carolina Jimenez.

*Please note that not all submissions will be used and if selected you agree to grant copyright to UH to share your story on the CAPS website. The stories may be edited for content, clarity and length.

Additional resources for First Generation College Students