Broncos FIRST

  • Broncos FIRST Students with their Course Facilitator

  • Broncos FIRST Students Talking with a Community Mentor

  • Broncos FIRST Students working on a project at the Spring Semester Welcome Back Celebration

Broncos FIRST seeks to make student retention and success the linchpin of WMU organizational efforts by initiating, documenting, and measuring outcomes of an integrated institutional transformation process aimed at improving the persistence and academic success of all students, particularly low-income and underrepresented students. This project uses an experimental design to validate our model focused on mentoring to improve student persistence. This intervention will be evaluated to measure student success. This intervention will measure:

  • The effect of mentoring programs on student outcomes
  • Barriers to and facilitators of academic success

The goal is to create a scalable and highly replicable model of mentoring support for first year students that can be implemented at a low cost by other higher education institutions to increase the success of students.

Broncos FIRST is funded by the First in the World (FiTW) grant program. FiTW is a United States Department of Education Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) grant program. The goal of First in the World is to increase access and completion for underrepresented, underprepared, or low-income students in postsecondary education. WMU was awarded a $3.2 million grant and it was the only grant recipient in the state of Michigan. The proposal submitted by Dr. Andrea Beach and Dr. Charles Henderson focused on improving the persistence and completion of income eligible students at WMU. The grant number is P116F140353 (EDGAR CFR 75.620).