First Generation Falcon Program

Nearly 30% of students that step foot on campus at BGSU are the first in their family to attend college. This milestone is something every student should be proud of but preparing for college can come with a lot of mixed emotions. Coming from a first-generation family, you may find yourself seeking out additional support through this process. The University is committed to welcoming families that might be overwhelmed or otherwise intimidated by the prospect of seeing their student head off to college. In response to this commitment, the Office of Residence Life invites 2023-24 first-year, first-generation students to register for this program and become a First Gen Falcon Family.

James Kearney

James Kearney

James started his collegiate career in 2012 at Missouri Western State University being a first-generation college student himself. He loves being able to give back in a way that he had when he was in your shoes. James holds four degress and is always looking to expand his knowledge and chance to help and engage with college students. James and his staff look forward to being able to get to know you and help you in the first part of your collegiate stop here at Bowling Green State University.

Program Information

  • Aug. 18-22
  • Early move-in REQUIRED
  • Free overnight program
  • Commuters welcome

Who is a first-generation student?

A student whose parent(s) have not earned a bachelor's degree.

Students who have any questions or wish to withdraw their application can reachout to the program leader James Kearney at

This free program is designed to make the transition into University life as smooth as possible for the student and their family. Throughout the five-day program, participants will:

  • Identify campus support resources
  • Learn communication and collaboration skills that will lead to positive community engagement
  • Participate in learning sessions on Financial Literacy, Success in the Classroom, Self-Advocacy and more
  • Students will identify personal skills and prospects to connect those skills to academic and co-curricular opportunities at Bowling Green State University 
  • Parents/Guardians will gain knowledge of University processes and parent resources at Bowling Green State University

During your time in the First Generation Falcon Program you will work with many individuals who are here to help all our First Generation Falcons succeed. Within the program you will have Team Leaders and Group Leaders, each will provide guidance and oversight during your first year here at BGSU.  

Team Leaders

  • Will assist in the planning of the four-day free summer Generation Falcon Program
  • Work to plan programs during the academic year for Generation Falcon students
  • Meet with students identified as struggling one-on-one

Group Leaders

  • Lead a group of Generation Falcon students throughout the summer program
  • Meet with students one-on-one throughout the week long program
  • Create programming and social outing based on the needs of the students

Are you a commuter?

Because this program is so close to the official move-in days, we are unable to provide overnight housing for commuters, but don't let this discourage you. Once you are admitted to the program, we will contact you and discuss your commute. We want to make the drive to and from the on-campus program as easy as possible for you. If you have any questions in the mean time, email Off-Campus Student Services at

What is the duration of the program?

The program will tentatively run from Aug. 13-17. Students will move-in early to participate in the program. Parents/guardians are encouraged to participate in the program the first half of Day 1, but not required. The program will last a total of five days for students. Changes to the schedule may be made based on logistical needs and any unforeseen circumstances.

Is there a cost to attend?

No, this is a free program. BUT, there will be a $150 fee per day fee if an on-campus residential student moves in and doesn't participate.

I applied but I no longer can attend the program?

If you no longer can attend the program, you need to contact James Kearney at as soon as possible to avoid the no show fee. 

Who should attend?

First-generation students and their parents/guardians attending BGSU for the first time during the fall semester.

Are meals included?

Meals will be included according to the program schedule.

Is there a no show fee?

The Generation Falcon Program is a five-day, comprehensive program. Missing any part would greatly diminish the effectiveness of the program. Therefore, it is an expectation that those accepted into the program fully attend, and participate, in all sessions. This includes the opening welcome on the first day through closing sessions. On-campus residential students who fail to attend sessions and participate will be charged $150 per day the student misses to cover the room occupancy, up to a maximum fee of $750.

Updated: 04/01/2024 10:01AM