Some students walking around Tyler Junior College’s campus hold the distinction of being the first person in their families to ever attend college.

“I want to make something out of myself,” said Keosha Gipson, a first-generation student attending TJC.

Students who do not have parents who attended college are often at a disadvantage.

Potential students who are not familiar with how to go about starting college can attend workshops through Support Services. Advisors are available to help students fill out all the forms to apply to TJC and get them off to a good start.

For first-generation students who are freshmen, the First Year Experience also helps them get adjusted and started on the right path by providing an online course with different modules to help students maneuver through the campus as well as college. Students can check their schedule or go to My Online courses on Apache Access to see if they are enrolled.

If finances are a problem, Support Services can always help. Students may also qualify for the Perkins Grant. This Grant is specialized for two-year Career Tech or Allied Health majors. Students applying must be Pell-eligible, undergraduate students enrolled in school and a full-time student.

“Being successful in life while making money, without failing in life, inspires me the most,” said Gipson. “My family is proud of me, and encourages me to do my best. They’re behind me the whole way.”

There is also the TRiO program located on the top floor of the Rogers Student Center that can help students transfer to a four-year university. They also have programs for first-generation students.

Students who get involved with clubs and organizations can interact with other students to help adjust to the college life.

“We have a lot of special services for students in our programs,” said Renee’ Hawkins, Project Coordinator of TRiO.

Sixty-seven percent have to be both low-income and first-generation students. The other 33 percent can either be first-generation, low income or disabled. Students can apply in the TRiO study lab.

The Learning Loft, located on the third floor of the RSC can also provide free tutors for those who need help in their course work either by having a one-on-one session or group sessions.

Students can contact Renee’ Hawkins at rhaw@tjc.edu or by phone at (903) 510-2495.

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