Attending college as a first-generation (first-gen) student is a tremendous accomplishment! To help first-generation students navigate college life, Temple University is piloting the Ready to Fly program in the College of Education and Human Development and the College of Liberal Arts.

Ready to Fly is a new program for first-generation students who will begin their first year of college in the fall of 2021. The program's mission is to ensure academic and personal success for Temple's incoming first-generation students by sharing important resources and building community. 

Samantha Horchos, the college access coordinator at the College of Education and Human Development, discussed the importance of community for first-gen students and also other benefits the Ready to Fly program offers. 

"Students should feel a real sense of pride and accomplishment in being first-generation college students!" said Horchos. 

Horchos, a first-generation college student herself, expressed her experience attending a university. She hopes the Ready to Fly program will help bridge the gap between incoming students and college life so that they have the right resources to succeed.

"It's important to have that sense of community as a first-generation student. When I was in college, I didn't know what being a first-generation student was and I was one! I had no idea about the additional supports in place for me," stated Horchos.

Students in the Ready to Fly program will: 

  • Receive extra support and guidance from Temple faculty and staff as they begin college, 
  • Meet other classmates in a small, structured group setting,
  • Begin two courses in early August (and finish them before the rest of fall courses); and 
  • Get a head start on becoming familiar with college-level work and navigating Temple systems and resources

The program's courses--one general education and one freshman seminar--will begin the week of August 2, 2021, and will end by November 19, 2021. The two courses offered in this program will be delivered online, allowing students to finish their summer at home. 

In the College of Education and Human Development, Jennifer Johnson will be the instructor of the general education course "Why Care About College: Higher Education in American Life." 

There is no additional cost to participate in the program. Students will be registered for a total of 12-18 credits—four or five of which are earned from the Ready to Fly program.

"If a student asked me 'Should I do it?' I would say yes. You're starting two classes early, finishing early, meeting a cohort of students like yourself, and getting used to campus before everyone else gets there. You have nothing to lose!" Horchos stated.

If you are interested in learning more about the Ready to Fly program, submit the 2021 interest form and inform your academic advisor of your interest during orientation. To be eligible to participate in Ready to Fly, you must be a deposited incoming student who identifies as first-generation. If eligible to participate, CEHD academic advisors will help students register for their courses.