Students socializing

GEN1 Scholars Program

Are You a First-Generation College Student?

GEN1 Scholars should identify as a “first-generation college student”––a student whose parents or guardians have not completed a bachelor's degree are referred to as first-generation.

About the GEN1 Scholars Program

The GEN1 Scholars Program will assist you as you transition to college by providing academic support; connecting you to faculty, staff, and resources; and helping you find and create community at Azusa Pacific University. The GEN1 Scholars Program offers APU's first-generation college students resources and opportunities for academic, professional, and personal growth. We strive to prepare students for their academic and post-graduation success through various programs and services. It is our mission to recognize and celebrate the unique cultural capital first-generation college students bring with them to the university in an attempt to foster an environment that will allow them to thrive.

Program Components

  • Academic support
  • Mentoring
  • Workshops for personal development
  • Workshops for parents/guardians
  • Semester gatherings

GEN1 Scholars Mentoring Program

The GEN1 Scholars Program offers faculty and staff mentoring for our first-generation college students. Through your mentoring relationship, you will gain networking opportunities, campus support, and a community of first-generation faculty and staff who are available to help you along your APU journey.

If you are interested in applying for a mentor, fill out the GEN1 Scholars Interest Card. This initial interest form will help us gather the necessary information to match you with one of our GEN1 Scholars Mentors.

Commitment for Students

  • Submit your Mentor Application
  • Attend Mentoring Orientation
  • Meet with your mentor at least 3 times a semester
  • Complete all program evaluations
  • One-on-one meeting with GEN1 Scholars Coordinator

Summer Bridge Program

The Summer Bridge Program is a free 4-week program designed to prepare a select group of first-generation students for their transition to Azusa Pacific University. Learn more about the program.


An abundance of resources exist at Azusa Pacific to provide support as students transition to college, discover their unique calling, and pursue it with passion and determination. Staff and student leaders in these offices are committed to walking alongside you, every step of the way.

Academic Success Center

The Academic Success Center offers comprehensive academic services, programming, and resources that support students in thinking critically, planning accordingly, and thriving academically as they become difference makers at APU. The center comprises several areas of support: Academic AdvisingTRIO Student Support Services and TRIO Upward BoundFirst-Year SeminarAccessibility ServicesTesting Services, and Tutoring Center.

Center for Career and Community-Engaged Learning

The Center for Career and Community-Engaged Learning supports students in the transition from college to life beyond APU by equipping them to engage their calling, prepare for their career, and connect professionally. In partnership with alumni, employers, and industry professionals, the center provides career consulting, professional development, and job/internship connections.

Office of Spiritual Life

The Office of Spiritual Life mobilizes and educates students toward responsible and transformational service locally and globally through a collaborative network of offices and programs, including Study Away, local programs, National and International Action Teams, Mexico Outreach, International Students and Scholars, and G.A.P. Years.

Center for Vocational Ministry

The Center for Vocational Ministry assists students who are sensing God leading them to ministry as a career, and also helps cultivate resilience in ministry leaders by offering support and formational resources.

Student Center for Reconciliation and Diversity

The Student Center for Reconciliation and Diversity promotes student development through coordinating cultural events, advising ethnic student organizations, and providing information on scholarships. It is also home to the GEN1 Scholars Program.

The Writing Center

The Writing Center coaches APU students to improve their writing by employing a better writing process. They can help any APU student with any kind of writing project at any stage of the writing process. The Writing Center staff is available to work with students one-on-one, in groups, online, and in workshops.

Even though your student’s transition to college involves a lot of change in your family, please rest assured that your student needs your support and encouragement now more than ever. You play a critical role in your student's academic and personal success, and Azusa Pacific University is delighted to partner with you to support your student’s college career.

Helpful Resources for First-Generation Students and Their Families Before College

Readings for First-Generation College Students and Their Families

The following books may also serve as helpful resources for first generation college students regarding the academic demands of college. These books offer helpful strategies for academic and personal success.

There are also a number of titles by first-generation college students about their experiences in college. These books can be helpful and encouraging to your students.