First Generation Students

At Williams College we define “First-generation” as anyone who will be the first generation of his or her family to graduate from a four-year college or university. The average enrollment of First Generation students is about 16%.

Williams College First Generation Initiatives

A series of initiatives that engage first generation students at Williams offering students the educational resources and support needed in order to have a successful transition into the college environment. There will be many more events and programs that occur through out the year in collaboration with other offices and departments at the college.

View the Williams First Gen Initiatives Calendar for more information.

  • Annual Events

    First Year Orientation Program

    The First Gen Pre-Orientation is an exciting program designed to give incoming first gen students and their families an early opportunity to become acclimated with Williams College. During the three-day pre-orientation program students will connect with various faculty, staff, and upper class first gen students. In addition, the program will have facilitated workshops and activities designed to help students thrive academically and personally at Williams.

    Fall Meet & Greet

    Designed for first generation students to have an opportunity to meet faculty, staff and other students. The goal of the program is for students to develop the connections and support networks that will foster their social and academic success at Williams.

    Rites of Passage Graduation Celebration

    This event represents one of the many ways that the Williams community acknowledges and celebrates the academic achievement of first generation students as they reach the major milestone of becoming the first in their family to graduate from college.

  • Programs

    Lunch & Learn Sessions

    Informal sessions to address the specific needs of first generation students such as meeting Academic Resources staff, Career Center staff, Alumni Relations, Financial Aid staff and many more. Please email Dean Reyes at [email protected] for suggestions of topics to be discussed!

    First Gen Student Advisory Board

    Select group of first generation students representing all of the class years. The group works closely with the Dean of First Generation Initiatives and informs programs and services for their peers at Williams. The board also coordinates a monthly newsletter and activities through out the year.


Photo of Rosanna ReyesDr. Rosanna Ferro, Associate Dean of the College

Dean Ferro advises all students on all matters pertaining to the Williams experience. She is particularly charged with leading the college’s work in supporting the academic and extracurricular success of first-generation college students. She oversees the planning and coordination of programming for first-generation students throughout the year, ranging from the first-year orientation program to workshops and events in collaboration with various departments at the college.

Dean Ferro also has walk in hours every Monday from 12:30-2:30pm.  You may also request an appointment with the Dean by contacting the Dean’s Office x4171.