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Bryant to present on first-generation college enrollment at regional conference

Samantha Bryant, associate director for Upward Bound Math and Science South at Morehead State, has been invited to present at the 49th Annual Southeastern Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel Conference on Feb. 1, 2021.  

The conference brings together some of the best TRIO leaders and visionaries to share real-world insights on impacting college access and success culture and landscape.  

Bryant, a former TRIO participant, will present on low-income, first-generation (LIFG) student college enrollment and its steady increase over the last decade.   

“This group of marginalized students is typically overlooked as needing additional support as they often lack any visual indicators of their LIFG status,” Bryant said.  

Her presentation, “Beyond Access,” will provide a detailed student profile, an overview of unique challenges students from this group often face, and a rationale for institutional and classroom change. The discussion will include cost, intrusive advising, and co- or extra-curricular offerings and the importance of faculty, including the use of culturally compassionate curriculum and communication. Her presentations discuss how LIFG students arrive on-campus with unique goals, stories and challenges, but often lack college-going knowledge and capital. These deficiency areas often impede success for LIFG students. Still, many colleges and support programs have developed and implemented various strategies that have demonstrated the ability to increase success when measured by cumulative GPA, retention and ultimately, degree conferment.   

Bryant earned a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary (PS) Education, a Master of Arts in Educational Counseling, and is currently in the Doctor of Education - Adult and Higher Education Leadership program at MSU. She became the associate director of Upward Bound Math & Science South in March 2018.   

Morehead State University sponsors five TRIO programs: Educational Talent Search, Educational Opportunity Centers, Student Support Services, Upward Bound, and Upward Bound Math and Science.  

For more information about the Upward Bound Programs or TRIO programs please go to