Student holding microphone looking towards text reading "First in the Family Community"
Maddie (Former Student of the DJS Community - First in the Family Wing) "It is really inspiring to see others with similar struggles persevere despite the difficulties we have as the first in our family to go to college. We have a great community of shared support."

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:

Dream Gonzales, Community Director for Ordal and Stuen Halls |