Columbia College | Columbia Engineering

Student Advising

First-in-Family Programs

Columbia College and Columbia Engineering are proud to have nearly 900 undergraduates who are the first in their family to attend college. First-in-Family (FIF) Programs serves these students, and all students, by supporting them as they make the cultural leap into the college environment.

First-in-Family is by definition a secondary identity. The FIF constituency hails from every corner of the socioeconomic spectrum, every ethnic background, and every area of study.

The philosophy of FIF is that "students don't know what they don't know." FIF Programs aims to introduce students to the huge variety of possibilities for their Columbia education.

  • Orientation: We hold a reception during the New Student Orientation Program (NSOP) to welcome new first-generation college students and their families to campus. The 2014 FIF Welcome Reception featured a panel discussion where five current FIF students shared their experiences with 29 incoming students.
  • Peer Mentoring: FIF administers a peer mentoring program that pairs incoming and upperclass FIF students. The mentoring relationship enriches new students by connecting them with the attention and wisdom of FIF students who are farther along in their Columbia careers. The 2014-15 FIF Peer Mentoring Initiative currently has 82 participating undergraduates.
  • Social Events: All FIF students are invited to participate in FIF-exclusive community-building events throughout the academic year. Programming for Spring 2015 will be announced on a rolling basis.
  • Academic Support: The Center for Student Advising provides academic support resources through the Academic Resources in Support of Excellence (ARISE) program. All FIF students are encouraged to inquire about these resources.

Center for Student Advising


403 Alfred Lerner Hall
2920 Broadway
New York, NY 10027

Call: (212) 854-6378

Fax: (212) 854-2562

Office Hours
9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Walk-in Hours
3:00 p.m.–4:30 p.m.