University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown

First-Generation Student Services

Pitt-Johnstown is proud to serve first-generation college students—undergraduates whose parents or legal guardians did not graduate from a four-year college. 

Did you know approximately 35 percent of Pitt-Johnstown students are first-generation?

The first-generation population at Pitt-Johnstown far exceeds the national population and represents well over a third of our students. First-generation students and their families can have a difficult time navigating the campus. Therefore, we offer a variety of services designed to support and empower students and families to engage with campus services and opportunities.

Please click here to take our first-generation student questionnaire to help us learn more about you!

First at Pitt-Johnstown

The First at Pitt-Johnstown program creates a space for first-generation students to navigate their transition to college together.  We know it can be an exciting and difficult time, so we created this program to support you along the way to a successful first semester!  Here is what our participants had to say:

I felt like I had a support system of people who could relate to the same things I was going through. - 2019 Participant

This class helped me transition into college, taught me how to get involved, and made me more comfortable with people. - 2019 Participant

I think this program provides a phenomenal resource for first generation students. It allows students to openly discuss their hardships and find ways to navigate any internalized conflicts. - 2018 Participant

We invite incoming first-generation students to join the First at Pitt-Johnstown program – an initiative funded by the Provost’s Personalized Education Grant.  In the first two years of the program, participants have achieved higher academic performance than non-participants while creating a family-atmosphere with other first-generation students. The program consists of the following components:

  • Mastering College: a one-credit course designed specifically to meet the needs of first-generation students to increase the likelihood of a successful college transition
  • Peer Mentoring with the First MAPS: Participants are matched with upper class first-generation students who provide support and give participants the “inside scoop” on navigating college life. 
  • Activities: Participants and mentors gather for on- and off-campus social events and activities.

I'm Interested!

To join the program, complete the first-generation student questionnaire. Admitted Students who have identified as first-generation on their application will be sent personalized information about the program.  If you are an Admitted Student interested in joining the First at Pitt-Johnstown program, please email

First MAPS

Students in the First at Pitt-Johnstown program are matched with a First MAPS mentors.  First MAPS are upperclassmen students who are also first-generation—many of whom were in the First program themselves.  They meet regularly with their mentees, answer questions, and share advice that they wish they had as first-year students.

The FirstGen Club
The FirstGen Club meets in the Academic Success Center.  For meeting times, please contact
First Team

The First Team is comprised of faculty and staff who are designated first-generation student helpers.  These dedicated, compassionate professionals can help you get the most out of their office’s services to improve your campus experience. Find out who is on the First Team by looking for the "I support first-generation students" sticker on their office doors!