Department of Residential Life

First in the Family For students who are first in their family to attend college Receive support and get connected to resources for success in and out of the classroom. Application required. “Interactions with faculty, especially in living/learning communities, may help first-generation college students persist to graduation.” All residents will co-enroll in a course linked with PSYC 113: career & educational planning Study with peers Have fun in a social environment Connect with the university Recently renovated - card access to rooms

About First in the Family

First in Your Family. First Year at PLU.

The First in the Family community supports with first-generation students in their transition to PLU to promote academic success in their first year. PLU’’s Admission Office defines “first generation” as: neither parent graduated from a four-year, degree-granting institution within the U.S. While students reside in the Community, they will develop their own definition of what it means to be a first-generation college student. Additionally, they will explore how their first-generation identity intersects with other identities, as well as how their identity affects their college experience

Great For Residents Who ...

  • are the first in their families to attend college (first-generation students whose parents did not graduate from a four-year, degree-granting institution in the U.S.)
  • want to connect with resources that support their success in and out of the classroom during their transition to PLU

Program + Learning Outcomes

By participating in First in the Family, residents will be able to:

  • engage in opportunities to understand what it means to be a first-generation college student
  • share experiences about obstacles faced and how to overcome such challenges
  • build relationships with other first generation students, faculty, staff, and alumni
  • participate in programming that supports college transition and success in their first year at PLU


Ordal Hall (two wings)

RLC Supplemental Application Required?

Linked Course(s)

The First in the Family Community will be linked to an academic course called EDUC 287: Transitions to Pacific Lutheran University. Affirming students’ past experiences, this course assists each student’s successful navigation of the complex transition into Pacific Lutheran University. This course is designed to identify and overcome unforeseen barriers particular challenges in adjusting to college academic and social life. Course topics include increasing hope, understanding vocation, appreciating liberal arts, developing metacognition, maximizing campus resources, creating an academic plan, and learning professional communication skills.

Example Programs

Below are a few examples of programs that have occurred in First in the Family in the past! If you have an idea for a wing or hall program, contact your Resident Assistant to see about planning it!

  • #PLUFIF Series including: dinners with faculty, RLC retreat, film screenings, and more!
  • Overnight hosts for prospective high school students who are first-generation college students
  • Visits to local high schools to talk about one’s experience in college
  • Panels on campus sharing stories about one’s experience as a first-generation college student
  • “Field trips” to campus resources like the Library, which includes the Writing Center and Academic Assistance


For more information about this Residential Learning Community option you may contact:

Nicole Gonzales, Resident Director for Ordal and Stuen Halls |