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 Students 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, students 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

Linked Course(s)

YES (for new First-Year Students)

All first-year students have the option to enroll (on a first-come, first-served basis) in a linked First Year Experience Program (FYEP) course on the topic of social justice. Examples of linked courses from fall 2021 include:

  • Smushed with Strangers and Other Public Transit Stories | Rebecca Wilkin | FYEP 101 Section 06
  • Democratic Citizenship | James Albrecht | FYEP 101 Section 08
  • Asian American Experience | Rick Barot | FYEP 101 Section 09
  • Banned Books | Lisa Marcus | FYEP 101 Section 13

Linked Residence Hall(s)

Ordal Hall (two wings)

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 or Community Advocate to see about planning it!

  • #PLUFIF Series including: dinners with faculty, LC 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 Learning Community option you may contact:

Dhaval Patel, Community Director for Ordal and Stuen Halls | dpatel@plu.edu