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The latest online edition of CLA's Impact Magazine

First Generation Resources

First Gen

Philip Williams

CLA's Dean Philip Williams Supports First Gen 

Contact Dean Williams

Degree(s) Earned

Ph.D. in politics from the University of Oxford;
Master of Philosophy in Latin American Studies.   

Welcome from Dean Williams 

On behalf of the College of Liberal Arts (CLA), I’d like to welcome all of our First-Generation college students! As the son of parents who were the first in their families to attend college, I understand the enormous opportunities and challenges that college presents for First-Gen students. My goal as Dean of CLA is to help remove the barriers that prevent some students from taking full advantage of the Cal Poly experience, including faculty-student research opportunities and off-campus opportunities such as study abroad and internship experiences. Our hope is that this web page will provide you with some important resources that can help support your success here at Cal Poly! 

What to do beforeResources

From housing to financial aid, view helpful and timely resources for First Gen students.

Cal Poly's Office of University Diversity and Inclusion (OUDI) has a complete list of First Gen resources at

Academic ServicesFirst Gen Faculty and Staff 

Connect with First Gen faculty and staff in the College of Liberal Arts.

There are many first-generation faculty and staff that teach and work in the Cal Poly College of Liberal Arts! Learn more about them, and read their advice to current First Gen students at

Underrepresented Students NetworkUnderrepresented Students Network (USN) Mentors

Get to know fellow First Gen students

ACE graphicACE Program

Access | Community | Equity 

The Access, Community and Equity (ACE) Program helps remove barriers and improve access by providing stipends of up to $1,000 to first-generation or low-income students specifically so they can participate in high-impact Learn by Doing experiences. In addition, recipients receive mentoring and a community of support to help them take full advantage of their experience. Learn more about ACE. 

BEACoN lighthouse logoBEACoN

Believe, Educate & Empower, Advocate, Collaborate, Nurture 

Find research opportunities for underrepresented students on the BEACoN program website.


Materials curated by College of Liberal Arts (CLA) students Solena Aguilar and Miaya May as part of a CLA Student Diversity Committee project. Graphics designed by Aguilar.

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