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Members of the LSP VII cohort pose for a group photo.

Working with FLI Students

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First generation and/or low-income (FLI) students may have questions or concerns related to their experience as the first in their family to attend college or concerns related to financial matters.  Here are some considerations to keep in mind when trying to support FLI students.

Important Resources

The Stanford FLI Office offers support in a variety of formats to FLI students, including the Opportunity Fund and ongoing programs and resources. 

The Financial Aid Office can answer many questions that your student may have about their financial aid award or about changes to their circumstances.  Students can book an appointment with a financial aid officer here.

Academic Advising has also compiled a list of resources for FLI students.

Considerations for the Classroom

Here are some suggestions for supporting FLI students in your classrooms: 

  • Promote an inclusive learning environment in your classroom.  
  • Provide students with information on how to access textbooks, computers, technology, or other materials at reasonable prices.
  • Consider establishing ground rules to guide your classroom culture at the start of the quarter and enforce those rules throughout the quarter. This can be done as a collaborative process with the whole class. 
  • Be explicit with the whole class about what accommodations are available (such as incompletes, extensions on assignments, etc.) and how/when to ask for them.
  • Do not assume that students have background content knowledge that is not explicitly stated as a required prerequisite. 
  • Provide different opportunities for participating in class beyond just speaking in class.  The Office of Accessible Education (OAE) has some helpful examples.
  • Consider personally inviting students to your office hours (if you are concerned about them, if they are doing well, if you think of a program/opportunity that might be great for them).  Approach each student with cultural humility, recognizing the strength of their lived experiences. 
  • Explicitly talk about what research is and what it looks like in your field. Provide suggestions of how students can get involved. 
  • Be aware that many of our FLI students are working multiple jobs and are also supporting family members back home. Remember that your course is one of many different responsibilities competing for a student’s time. 
  • Refer students to their Undergraduate Advising Director (UAD) if you are aware of life or personal circumstances that are impacting their academics. We may be able to help.
  • Share resources for undocumented students in your syllabi, including counseling and support, legal resources, and emergency resources.

IDEAL Pedagogy

Stanford’s IDEAL (inclusion, diversity, equity and access in a learning environment) initiative has many relevant resources for supporting FLI students. Consider participating in the IDEAL Pedagogy Program: 

  • Integrate diverse examples, peoples, and texts into your course design
  • Encourage learning and sharing with peers through group work and discussion
  • Enact and uphold a classroom culture of respect for all students
  • Provide accessible resources and connections to meet the needs of all students 
  • Design varied activities and assessments for students to engage in learning