Textured Pattern

Family Engagement Institute

A Community Approach to Advancing Equity




usaw flyer

click here for more details



Podcast: Digital Divide in Schools Accentuated by the Pandemic

A conversation with Executive Director Betsy Nikolchev and Foothill Student Intern Fatai Heimuli.

“This is about authentic conversations and about not pretending that any of us have all the answers. We’re each going to bring our funds of knowledge. As educators, we're going to bring our materials. Families and students bring their knowledge of experiences. And that is how you build trust.” - Betsy Nikolchev

To listen, click here.

Article: When a College Creates a Family-Centered Culture

An interview with Executive Director Betsy Nikolchev and Director of Family & Community Engagement Carmen Ponce. 

“Preparing educators for family engagement is about providing opportunities to clarify their values about equity and inclusion... But it is also about creating spaces for faculty and colleges more generally to value families as critical to student success, hold positive mindsets about their role in children and youth learning and growth, and learn about how to best create courses of study that put families at the center.” 

To read, click here.





All families dream about raising healthy, successful children but not all families have equal access to the systems of support that turn this dream into a reality.

- Family Engagement Institute, Foothill College

10th Anniversary Banner



Undocumented Student Action Week 2018 Rally

Message from the Executive Director

Betsy Nikolchev on the importance of meaningful, authentic family engagement in K-12 schools and beyond.


FEI Tagline: A Community Approach to Advancing Equity

Our Work

Our Mission, Our Vision, Our Approach.


Child Developme Academy Student with Children

Youth Engagement

The FEI intern and mentor model provides first-generation youth with valuable service leadership opportunities, allowing them to develop a deeper awareness of the community they serve, and the ability to grow and learn under the mentorship of experienced educators.

Students broaden their understanding of family engagement, social justice, and child development, and gain skills in communication and collaboration, critical thinking, growth mindset, cultural sensitivity and leadership.


Clapping Mom / Foothill Student

Family Engagement & Family Bridge to College

FEI offers families with children in preschool through high school affordable and accessible continued multigenerational educational opportunities that are developmentally, culturally, and linguistically responsive in six content areas through Noncredit Parenting (NCP) College Courses.

Family Bridge to College Day provides first hand experiences that support families in navigating systems of higher education. It is an all-day Saturday field trip to experience the Foothill College campus. The day is designed to give both families and school staff a college campus experience.


Professional Development Scene

Professional Development & Coaching

FEI works closely with its partners to customize professional development, technical assistance, and coaching to maximize learning opportunities for educators and families together in order to build strong partnerships in realizing the influence of family on the healthy outcomes of children and youth.

Recognizing families as partners in change invites us to ensure that family identity is visible and respected in the learning environment. 


Student Looking Upward

Policy & Community Collaboration

FEI contributes to the local and national discussion by increasing awareness of effective systemic, integrated and sustained family engagement that influences policy making and practices.

FEI has been featured in numerous publications, and received recognition and academic acknowledgement.


Family receiving resources

Key Resources

FEI is committed to serving first generation students and families equitably and responsively.


DREAMers UndocuALLY Emblem


FEI leads the Foothill College DREAMers UndocuALLY, a safe space of resources, legal counsel and trainings to protect the hopes and dreams of immigrant families for their children to be first in the family to attend college.

The DREAMers UndocuALLY project creates a college-wide culture where our undocumented community feels safe and encouraged to pursue education and engage in the campus community.



Equity Hope Courage Collaboration


fei family engagement institute

Meet Our Team

Meet Our Advisory Board

Access FEI's Impact Report

Stay Connected with FEI

Facebook Logo Like Us on Facebook

Twitter LogoFollow Us on Twitter

YouTube LogoWatch Us on  YouTube


ph default text

We're Here to Help!

Family Engagement Institute



Student Resource Center, Building 5400 Room 5420