Bao Ying Chen ’14, biomedical physics graduate student at UCLA, was drawn to Grinnell by its commitment to diversity, the financial resources offered to students, and the flexibility of its individually advised curriculum. “Without Grinnell’s help, I do not think I would have been able to pursue a higher education degree,” says Chen, a first-generation college student.
For first-generation students, getting into Grinnell is just the first hurdle. Figuring out how to survive, much less thrive, is a whole series of hurdles. And it’s less a sprint over a brightly lit track than a marathon through a dark tunnel with blind curves, switchbacks, and alarming obstacles.
Grinnell is committed to strengthening the educational components of student experiential learning opportunities on campus. Long-term strategic planning efforts focused on student employment opportunities led to the creation of a Training and Student Employment Coordinator position in the Human Resources office in 2014. Now, we are in the process of creating a new position to focus exclusively on supporting the academic component of paid student positions on campus, and of considering additional opportunities for making sure these positions prepare students with critical career-readiness skills.