UC Press is excited to announce the beginnings of our FirstGen Scholars Program! We are developing this program as part of our organizational mission to publish and support a diverse community of scholars.

We’re proud to not only be the largest university press affiliated with a public university system, but also part of a university system that has built strong programs and support for first-generation students, defined as the first in their family to attend college. As research has shown, supporting first-gen students is critical to increasing educational equity: first-gen students make up as much as one-third of undergraduate students but are less likely to complete postsecondary degrees, and often confront intersecting or compounding inequalities across race, income, immigration status and more.

This also impacts how many first-generation students continue on to get advanced degrees and become scholars, authors, and faculty. As a non-profit, progressive publisher within the public UC system, we hope to extend the UC’s first-gen efforts by developing our own FirstGen Scholars program—to more effectively acquire, develop, publish and promote the work of FirstGen Scholars. We know that publishing can be a black box to many, and we’re eager to make this a more equitable and supportive process for all.

Right now, we need the help of scholars like you—first-generation and non-first generation alike! In this discovery phase, we’re hoping to learn more about how authors experience the book publishing process, the unique challenges first-gen scholars face in publishing, and how UC Press can better support these scholars. 

To do this, we’ve created this FirstGen Scholars Book Publishing Survey, which asks first-gen and non-first-gen scholars about their experiences with book publishing. We also hope to hear from scholars who have not yet published a book, about their familiarity with the publishing world and what resources would help them publish in the future. The survey is open to all scholars who have completed an advanced graduate degree or PhD, not only those who have worked with UC Press.

The valuable insights you provide will directly inform how we develop our FirstGen Scholars Program, and will help us improve diversity and equity in our publishing program. If you are able to spend 10–15 minutes, please take part, and also help us spread the word by sharing on social media and forwarding this email on to colleagues and academic listservs and societies.

Thanks in advance for your support and we look forward to hearing from you!

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