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Office of Access and Outreach
Arrive and Thrive

Who We Are

The Office of Access and Outreach opened in the fall of 2015 to promote the success of Duke’s first-generation (1G) and high-need students (HN). Our goal was to connect our 1G-HN students more fully to the experiences available at the University, to the faculty, and, most importantly, to each other.

We opened with one director, a tremendous amount of energy, and a bright and welcoming space on the second floor of the Annex, in the same building as Financial Support and Student Loans. We stocked the fridge, built a listserv, and began to develop programming. We invited faculty members to informal lunches with small groups of  1G-HN, hosted trips to see shows at DPAC, held study breaks, and offered information on how financial aid could support summer and semester study abroad, research opportunities and internships, work study jobs, DukeEngage, and Bass Connections programs.

                                         Click above to hear what 1G Ashley Claw, '18, says of her Duke experience.

We have been able to expand our reach over the past few years to include information and programming for other students including independent students and DACA/undocumented students. 

Programs currently offered through the Office include: 

  • 1G Pre-Orientation Program is offered each summer to 60 enrolling first-year 1G-HN students to familiarize them with campus, advising and academic resources, food services and residential life and to provide programming to assist with the transition to a rigorous academic life away from home. 
  • Duke Women Launch is offered each fall by invitation to sophomore women about to declare  a major. The program helps 1G-HN women identify their interests,  skills and mentors while learning to present them with confidence in resumes, cover letters, and interviews. 
  • Faculty Luncheon Series is offered throughout the year and open to all 1G-HN students who RSVP.  The luncheons are an opportunity for small groups of students to have informal conversations with faculty about their work or about any topic of interest. 
  • Duke LIFE is a network of students programming for those who identify as first-generation students.
  • Developing Financial Confidence is a five-session workshop for 1G-HN students to learn how to understand spending habits, budget, save, manage a bank account, and develop positive credit.
  • Financial Aid Renewal and Help (FARAH) runs through each spring term and provides walk-in hours for students to bring in financial aid documents to complete the FAFSA and the CSS Profile forms on line in order to get their financial aid renewal underway (or if we’re lucky, complete!)
  • Independent Students get together about once every month to discuss issues that face independent students more frequently than other students at the University. We help each other strategize and support one another throughout the year. Topics include how to manage breaks including winter break housing, how to plan for summer when there are breaks in between the semester and the program start date, how to budget and manage food and food points, etc. 
  • Outings and Activities are scheduled over the course of the academic year to engage and entertain students while at the same time building friendships and community. Watch the calendar to find out what’s coming next!

Duke belongs to each and every one of our students. We hope to continue to expand our offerings and promote our goal to help each student make the most of their own Duke experience.