Pre-Orientation Program Director Search

Harvard College is launching a new Pre-Orientation Program for students in the Class of 2022. The purpose of the program is to more thoroughly orient students to the academic life and culture of Harvard  and to build community for those who participate.   Students who are first-generation in their family to attend college, those from low to modest-income backgrounds, or those whose high schools are typically under-represented in the Ivy League will be encouraged to participate.   The program, which is not yet named, will be run out of the Freshman Dean’s Office (FDO), in collaboration with the Advising Programs Office (APO), and is set to take place Aug. 23-26, 2018.  


The FDO is hiring a part-time Program Director to develop and oversee the program as well as serve as a dedicated adviser to students throughout their first year. FGHA members are invited to apply and we ask you to please circulate this opportunity who anyone who might be interested in the role.  Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis.  Final due date for applications is 9am on Monday, November 20, 2017.  Interviews will be conducted the week of December 4, 2017


Contact Katie Steele, Director of College Initiatives and Student Development with questions about the Program Director role or the Pre-Orientation Program.


Join First Generation Harvard Alumni!

"First Generation" is a group of Harvard alumni who are the first members of their families to attend college and who seek to support current first-generation students. Our mission is to make Harvard a better place for current first-generation students and help them to navigate Harvard successfully. We achieve this goal through mentoring, advocacy and providing networking opportunities. Thanks to the generosity of the Harvard Financial Aid Initiative, first-generation students make up a substantial portion (up to 18%) of today’s undergraduate student body.


Every summer, first-generation students may request a mentor for their freshman year.  First Generation Alumni are matched with students based on interest, location, background and other characteristics.  Mentors and students determine how and when they will meet or chat throughout the year and the time commitment is usually less than two hours per month. In 2015, 2016 and 2017, we matched more than 100 alumni mentors with over 100 freshmen mentees each year.  


Throughout the year, and especially from January through March, students seek career advice.  FGSU hosts well-attended panel discussions at Harvard with FGHA alumni through the Office of Career Services. If you would like to serve on a panel, have time to review a few resumes or offer informational interviews, please let us know. Networking also takes place informally at social events in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago and Los Angeles.


From time to time, First Generation Alumni voices help current students bring the administration’s attention to their needs.  Advocates of first-generation students also participate in gatherings on to welcome students, at Parents’ Weekend, with Admissions and the Harvard Financial Aid Initiative in April, and at ad hoc dinners during each semester.

Recent Events

First Gen and Low Income Student Advocate

The Freshman Dean's Office has hired a Student Advocate for the 2017-18 academic year to advise and support first generation and low income students during their first year.  Please welcome Sa-Kiera Hudson, a freshman proctor in Matthews and a 4th year PhD student in social psychology.  More information from the Freshman Dean's office is available here.

HAA Highlights FGHA

The HAA presents "What's Your SIG?" - a series of conversations with members of various SIGs about what their communities mean to them.  Kevin Jennings and First Generation Harvard Alumni are highlighted in April here

Follow the Conversation

Secveral articles have appeared recently in The Harvard Crimson regarding proposals for pre-orientation programing for first generation and low income students.  Follow the news as it unfolds . . .

FGHA Vice-chair Dan Lobo '14 expresses his opinion in the Crimson with a letter to first generation students on April 6, 2017.  

Read the opinion piece in The Crimson calling for a summer enrichment program for first generation students by Savannah Fritz '17 and another opinion piece describing life as a First Gen student at Harvard by Jessenia Class '20.

Find out more about the rejection of a proposal for a First Year Institute in this Crimson article from March 28, 2017.

Learn more about Dean Khurana's response to student questions at the Undergraduate Council meeting in this April 3, 2017 Crimson article and in this new opinion piece on April 15. The Crimson Editorial Board called for both pre- and post-matriculation programs in this new opinion piece on April 19.

Latest News

College to Pilot Pre-Orientation Program for Members of 'Historically Marginalized Communities'

After "thoughtful feedback" and the efforts of the First Generation Student Union, Dean Khurana moves forward with a pre-orientation program pilot in 2018. More from the Crimson:

Dean Khurana rejects low-income student summer program

The Dean of the College turned down a request to fund the First Year Institute, proposing a part-time position in the Freshman Dean's Office instead. More from the Crimson:
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