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UC’s Gen-1 Theme House


The living and learning community for first-generation college students has grown beyond serving freshmen.

Date: 4/22/2013 12:00:00 AM
By: Dawn Fuller
Phone: (513) 556-1823
Photos By: Dottie Stover

UC ingot   UC’s Gen-1 Theme House has been highlighted in national news outlets including the New York Times, NBC Nightly News, Inside Higher Ed and USA Today for its innovations in supporting at-risk college students. The 26-bed housing community opened in 2008 to serve freshmen who were most at risk for dropping out of college – first generation, Pell eligible students – by providing a 24/7 structured living and learning environment, as well as tutoring and mentoring support. The program expanded in 2011 with a residential component to serve the Gen-1 House’s returning sophomores and again in 2012 for juniors.
Gen-1 Theme House
Gen-1 Theme House



The Gen-1 House has single and double suites along with a study room, living room, recreation room, dining areas and kitchen and laundry room. Located in the tudor-style Stratford Heights complex on Clifton Avenue, the housing community, supported by the UC Partner for Achieving School Success (UC PASS) Center in the College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services (CECH), aims to help these at-risk students have a successful freshman year in college, return to UC for their sophomore year, and complete their baccalaureate degree within six years.

The house has two full-time staff members who serve as mentors/advisors. A resident graduate advisor lives at the house full-time, and two resident advisors at the home are Gen-1 college juniors. Program supports include mentoring, individual and small-group tutoring, voluntary and mandatory study sessions, frequent monitoring of student academic performance and social activities and professional counseling and guidance.

Freshmen must commit to earning a minimum GPA of 2.33 per academic semester and 2.50 GPA after completing their freshman year; sophomores/juniors must commit to earning a 2.67 GPA per semester.

Gen-1 Expansion

The program expanded in 2011 with a residential component for 11 sophomores who were Gen-1 Theme House ‘alumni’ and a non-residential support program for approximately 30 sophomore, junior, and senior Gen-1 alums. It expanded again in 2012 to accommodate juniors.

Number of first-generation, Pell-eligible freshmen who moved into the house in 2008: 14 freshmen

Number of students who moved into the house in 2009: 24 freshmen

Number of students moving into the house in 2010: 25 freshmen

Number of students moving into the house in fall 2011: 25 freshmen/11 sophomores

Number of students moving into the house in fall 2012: 24 freshmen/19 sophomores/8 juniors

Total number of students served by the Gen-1 House since 2008: 113

In 2010, the Gen-1 Theme House was named among three “exceptional initiatives” in the Midwest to be honored with the first CollegeKeys Compact™ Innovation Awards.

Gen-1 Residents, Funding & Support (Reported by the UC PASS Center)

Funding to support the Gen-1 Theme House – approximately $1,750,000 since 2008 – has supported housing subsidies, meal plans and scholarships for students; staff compensation; and programming and services. Judy Mause, program coordinator, says that across UC, the UC PASS Center has also been dedicated to building a greater institutional awareness of, sensitivity to, and support of first-generation, Pell-eligible students, especially freshmen.

Total Funding the Gen-1 House has received: Approximately $1,750,000

2008-2009: $100,000
2009-2010: $125,000
2010-2011: $375,000
2011-2012: $600,000
2012-2013: $550,000

Funding Sources (Reported by UC PASS Center)

  • University of Cincinnati
(College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services; McMicken College of Arts & Sciences ; College of Allied Health Sciences; College of Engineering and Applied Science; College-Conservatory of Music; College of Design, Architecture, Art, & Planning; Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost; Enrollment Management; Carl H. Lindner College of Business)
  • Social Innovation Fund
  • Insured Success Foundation
  • Haile Foundation
  • Greater Cincinnati Foundation
  • Woodward Trust Fund
  • MJ93 (Michael Johnson, Cincinnati Bengals)
  • Joseph & Virginia R. Murphy Estate
  • Key Bank
  • Assistance League of Greater Cincinnati
  • Individual Donors

Click here for information on supporting the Gen-1 Theme House