The daughter of a factory worker and a stay-at-home mom, Teresa Heinz Housel became the first member of her family to go to college when she enrolled at Ohio’s Oberlin College in 1990, U.S. News reports. Now, she’s an associate professor of communication at Hope College in Holland, Mich., and coeditor of Faculty and First-Generation College Students: Bridging the Classroom Gap Together.
“I knew that I wanted more than what was around me–I read about people’s lives and I knew there was a lot more out there,” Heinz Housel says of her high school mindset. “I was really fortunate that I had mentors locally who really reached out to me and encouraged me to go to college.”
If you’re a prospective first-generation college student–or the parent of one–and are in need of encouragement, too, here are some of Heinz Housel’s insights and tips for tackling the pursuit of higher education…
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