Texas Tech University

FIRST Mentorship Program



Nurcan Bac, Ph.D.


Interim Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies,
Senior Associate Academic Dean College of Engineering

Welcome to the Whitacre College of Engineering at Texas Tech. We're excited that you are considering our programs, and we look forward to sharing our passion for engineering with you. If you are a prospective student, please check out our prospective student page. To learn more about our services and explore our different programs, please check out the undergraduate or graduate student page.

The faculty and staff at the Whitacre College of Engineering are here to support you through every step of your engineering journey. We understand that as a first-generation college student you have accomplished so much to get to this point, and we want to make sure you know that you are not alone at Texas Tech. This web page contains useful tips and resources to ensure your success in the program.



Click on a photo and read below for a profile of a first generation college graduate or a current student.


Mentor Programs

ConocoPhillips Center for Engineering Enrichment and Diversity (CPCEED) First Generation College Student Mentor Program

The ConocoPhillips Center for Engineering Enrichment and Diversity (CPCEED) First Generation College Student Mentor Program aims to help first year and transfer students navigate through their first year of college. Many first-generation college students are unsure of the questions to ask or what and when they should be doing to be successful. Each student is matched with a mentor who is also first in their family to attend college and likely began as a mentee of the program. Students receive points by participating in activities that will lead them to a successful semester. These activities include, but are not limited to, meeting with their mentor, attending workshops on time management, study skills and/or professional development, meet their professors and advisors, participate in outreach and community service. Points make the students eligible to participate in the CPCEED banquet with ConocoPhillips and for additional scholarship opportunities separate from university, department, and college level.

First Generation Transition & Mentoring Programs (FGTMP)

First Generation Transition & Mentoring Programs offers first and second-year programs for First Generation College students. With programs such as First Year Success (FYS) and Second Year Success (SYS) , you will find a community with a long line of success.


Monthly workshops are offered to help guide and prepare you through the important events of the semester. Workshops on time management and study skills, job fair preparations, career panels, international experience requirement keep you on track and give you an opportunity to ask questions in a safe environment.

Mental Health

Student Counseling Center is located on the second floor, room 201 of the Student Wellness Center on the corner of Flint Ave. & Main St. They offer a variety of services to address your mental health.

  • If you are experiencing a mental health crisis of any kind, do not wait to for normal business hours. Contact the Texas Tech Crisis Helpline at (806) 742-5555.


Tips & Advice

  • Get involved! Your experience is truly what you make it. The more you put in, the more you will get out. Join study groups, student organizations, mentor programs – anything that helps you build confidence and promotes success in your studies.
  • Network. Meet your professors, advisors, staff in your department and college and very importantly the recruiters and engineering alumni. You'll need letters of recommendations for scholarships, jobs, other opportunities
  • Work on your soft skills. As an engineer, it is extremely important to be able to communicate effectively. Believe it or not, engineers must be effective communicators. Teamwork is essential. You'll work on team projects both academically and professionally. You need to communicate with your team and present the information to the class, prospective buyers, and/or your superiors.
  • Be fearless. Meet and talk to as many people as you can. Engineering is a small world. You never know where your next opportunity will come from. Remember, you deserve to be here. You deserve to pursue an engineering education. Be fearless and we'll be here to support you.
  • Practice. It's not easy. The only way to get better and feel confident is to practice. Just thinking about getting up and speaking in public can be scary, but it gets a little easier (or more tolerable) the more you do it. There is no magic trick, you just need to try. Use workshops for first-generation college students to ask questions. Join organizations such as LEAD Toastmasters (public speaking student organization specifically for engineering students), attend social events from student organizations, CPCEED, or EOC sponsored events.
  • Ask for help. This may be one of the most important things. You don't have to feel embarrassed that you do not know everything. That's what we are here for. We want to help you, but you need to ask. If you are struggling academically, mentally, and/or emotionally we can connect you with the right resources. Remember, we want you here and we'll help you through your degree.

FIRST Mentorship Program


The Whitacre College of Engineering FIRST Mentor Program is a community that supports incoming first-year, first-generation college (FGC) students and provides opportunities for their academic progress and career development.

About the FIRST Program

As members of the FIRST Program, students will be part of a close-knit community of fellow FGC engineering students with access to resources and opportunities for a successful college experience in a safe and comfortable environment. This program is meant to supplement other Texas Tech University FGC programs by providing engineering-specific access and resources.

Three critical areas of focus are academic support, professional development/career services, and community. Communication skills in all areas are essential to student success, and a special communication skills certification will be available to put on your resume after completing the training program.

The following areas are designed to help FIRST members succeed in the Whitacre College of Engineering, college life and the engineering industry. Participation in these events earns points to be considered for special scholarships through the CPCEED program.

Academic Support

This category covers strategies for success in the realm of academics. This includes tutoring and funding resources for classes, preparation for graduation requirements, and workshops such as study skills and time management. 

  • Tutoring - Active participation in tutoring sessions through the TTU Learning Center, Departments, Honor Societies, and/or EOC. Tutoring is an essential key to success in engineering. It is important to get good grades, but it is more important to learn the material. All options are available at no cost to you and at convenient times to assist you in your studies.
  • Supplemental Instruction – Active participation in supplemental instruction (SI). Supplemental Instruction offers free, peer-led review sessions for historically difficult courses. SI Leaders are peers who have demonstrated academic mastery in the course and prepare weekly review sessions by attending lecture, taking notes, and meeting with the course instructor. A schedule will be sent out once it is finalized at the beginning of each semester.
  • Professor/Instructor/TA Office Hours – Getting to know your professor, instructor, and/or your TA is not only important to do well in your classes, but it is also a great networking opportunity and valuable resource academically and professionally.
  • Workshops – Workshops will occur throughout the semester to provide timely information for you. This includes, but is not limited to, study skills, time management, stress, funding, and the International Experience Requirement.

Professional Development and Communication

Professional development is vital to preparing you for your dream job and the process begins day one on campus. Your first year is the perfect time to develop your communication skills and gain valuable knowledge and resources to make yourself more marketable.

  • Workshops – EOC Career Services' Job Search workshop series will guide you through important steps to prepare for all aspects of the job search process: job applications, Job Fair, interviews, offer reviews, etc.
  • Information Sessions – Engineering companies visit TTU each semester on a virtual and face-to-face basis to provide information about their company and industry. These sessions are great opportunities to learn more about different aspects of the industry and network with industry representatives.
  • Practice Sessions – Put what you're learning into action. Communication becomes less scary the more you practice, practice, practice. There will be sessions provided for you to practice elevator speeches, presentations, interviews and casual business conversation.
  • Certification Program – Our aim is to provide you with the appropriate communication skills to help you academically and professionally. We will offer a series of opportunities to develop these skills which will result in a certification issued by the EOC Career Services office that you will be able to add to your resume.


A close-knit community is vital to success. Establishing relationships with classmates, peers, faculty, staff and industry builds confidence and supports you through the rigorous environment of an engineering education.

  • Mentor Meetings – A mentor is your personal guide and your first contact for questions or issues that arise throughout the semester. Your mentor will be a junior or senior in your program and a first-generation college student that is anxious to share his or her experience with you and help you navigate through your first year. You will be required to communicate with your mentor at least once a week.
  • Workshops/Lunch and Learns – L&Ls are usually smaller interest groups that meet during the lunch hour. These are usually conducted by industry representatives geared toward specific majors or specific groups such as Women in Engineering, Active Military and Veterans, Transfer Students, and/or First-Generation College students.
  • Student Organizations – Active participation in student org committees, community service or outreach. Student organizations are valuable resources to connect you to community, academics and industry.
  • Outreach and Community Service– It is important to give back and help others. Whether participating in events to introduce engineering concepts to high school students or volunteering for a highway clean-up or Habitat for Humanity, community service will lead to valuable communication, leadership, and teamwork skills.
  • Community Building – This is an opportunity to come together for fun! Attend social events through FIRST, student organizations, TTU first generation or first year experience programs.

Please contact eoc.coe@ttu.edu with any questions.

Become a FIRST Mentor!

FIRST Mentors help incoming first generation, first-year, and transfer students to become meaningfully active in the college community and provide guidance and support on a peer-to-peer mentor level. Help other FGC students to learn from your unique experiences!
Get Application
Turn in your application at first.coe@ttu.edu
For questions contact us at first.coe@ttu.edu

Sponsored by:

conoco phillips