First Generation Faculty and Staff Project

The First Generation Faculty and Staff Project showcases Appalachian's many faculty and staff members who were themselves first generation college students as undergrads. These men and women know what it is like to navigate in unfamiliar terrain and are able to understand what our students may be experiencing. These are their stories.


Services for Students

Students who are struggling may be referred to OSS for individualized, one-on-one, academic coaching. Throughout the semester, coachees meet weekly with an OSS staff member to discuss themes such as time management, productive study strategies, and personal accountability. Approximately 90% of the students who have actively participated in coaching have regained good academic standing after working regularly with an OSS Academic Coach.

Email for more information.

As a form of proactive support, OSS partners with the Student Learning Center to request electronic progress reports from faculty. These requests are usually disseminated just before midterm each semester for student athletes, students in the ACCESS program, students in the SSS (TRiO) project, and students in their first term of academic probation. The process begins when faculty receive an email providing a link to the site for the academic progress reports. Once on this site, faculty will log in using their Appalachian State University username and password. In most cases, it only takes a minute or two to complete the form. Any information faculty can provide on students' attendance, participation, and academic progress is very helpful to Student Learning Center and OSS staff, who reach out to students to offer support and encouragement. This outreach affords students the opportunity to take action early in the semester and to make meaningful improvement in courses in which they may be struggling.

Academic Success Workshops are offered to students on Appalachian’s main campus during their first semester of probation. These 90-minute workshops offer tips and resources for regaining good academic standing as quickly as possible. The workshops cover topics ranging from Appalachian’s academic policies to study skills, and are consistently rated as helpful by students. Students may sign up for their required workshop by going to AppSync and searching for “Student Success” in the search bar at the top of the page. Once there, students should choose “Events” to see a list of upcoming workshops and to register for the workshop that best fits their schedule. 

If a faculty member’s primary concern for a student is his/her lack of attendance or concerns about academic performance, the faculty member can complete and submit an Attendance and Performance Alert Form. Staff members from the Office of Student Success (OSS) will reach out to the student and then follow up with the instructor. This initiative helps ensure students are attending classes or dropping classes they are not attending while also keeping faculty members in the loop and letting them know what OSS discovers about the student(s) they referred. If the OSS discovers other concerns, or cannot connect with the student, OSS staff may elect to make a referral to the Early Intervention Team.

The Early Intervention Team's main function is to meet with students who are showing signs of difficulty with university life and who have been referred by faculty or staff.  Students may make referrals through a faculty member. The meetings with referred students are non-disciplinary and are intended to offer support and connect students with resources that can assist them to become healthier and more productive members of the community. Learn more at

Advising Resources

Advising is key to timely graduation and fundamental to student success.


Here are recommonded actions for sophomores, juniors, and seniors to take to develop a strong, well-rounded portfolio of experiences during their time at Appalachian.