Mercer Firsts

Join a community of trailblazers

Starting the first year of college is an exciting accomplishment for all Mercerians, but for first-generation (FG) college students, this experience can be especially meaningful. Mercer recognizes that you will face unique experiences as you begin this journey, and we look forward to supporting you.

The Mercer Firsts Program is a community of FG freshmen committed to attaining success at Mercer. The program connects each participant with an experienced mentor, a community of support, and guidance throughout the first year of college.

2021-2022 program dates

  • Mentee Retreat | August 28, 2021
  • Mentor-Mentee Kickoff | September 1, 2021
  • September Workshop | September 15, 2021
  • October Workshop | October 13, 2021
  • November Workshop | November 17, 2021
  • December Holiday Social | December 1, 2021

Please contact us for more information.

Mercer Firsts Program

Frequently asked questions

Who will my mentor be?

The Office for Student Success will pair you with a Mercer faculty member, staff member, or graduate student. Your program registration form asks questions that help us get to know you and allows you to voice preferences about your mentor match.

When will I find out who my mentor is?

You will be introduced to your mentor during the Kick-Off event in late August.

How long will I participate in the program?

The program runs for the length of your first year at Mercer. It kicks off in late August and concludes in mid-April. You are encouraged to keep in touch with your mentor after the conclusion of the program, but there are no formal requirements to do so.

What is the time commitment like for this program?

The first year of college is a learning process in terms of how to manage time, so we have intentionally designed Mercer Firsts to avoid imposing a heavy commitment or burden on your schedule. Only two Mercer Firsts events are required for all participants: the mentee retreat and the mentor/mentee kick-off event. All other scheduled program events are optional and last no longer than an hour each. You are encouraged to communicate with your mentor throughout the semester and to get together with your mentor at least once a month – these meetings can be scheduled at the convenience of each pair's schedules.

Is there a cost to participate?

No, there is no cost to participate in Mercer Firsts.

How is Mercer Firsts different from other programs offered for students?

Mercer is pleased to offer a network of support and programs with which first-generation students can choose to engage. The Mercer Firsts Program is the only opportunity on campus specifically tailored for first-generation students that offers one-on-one mentor pairing with someone who has already completed college.

What kinds of things can a mentor help me with?

You may find it's helpful to talk with your mentor about topics such as:
  • Your social transition to college
  • Your academic transition to college
  • Your strategies for success
  • Life in general, knowing that you always have a resource on campus who is available to help you.

Who is eligible to participate?

Program participants must be first-year Mercerians who are first-generation college students, meaning that neither parent earned a four-year college degree.