This is the final installment in a series highlighting federal recommendations for addressing the needs of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students. The guide, designed for educators and community organizations as well as youth and their families, includes an overview of the rights of undocumented students, tips for educators on how to support undocumented youth in high school and college, information on federal financial aid, a list of private scholarships, guidance for students applying for DACA consideration or renewal, as well as tips and example models for addressing the needs of undocumented students in higher education.
This article focuses on Tip 2: Provide Services and Resources to Help Guide Undocumented Students.
Federal recommendations for this tip include:
- Develop services and resources that specifically support undocumented students
- Share information about DACA with students, families and the community
- Be transparent by openly and proactively advertising the ways in which your institution supports undocumented students
The guide identified the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) as a model organization for its work with the Internationals Network for Public Schools. Together, these organizations produced a guide to assist DACA students and families in navigating the US higher education system. Their guiding document includes college costs, scholarship opportunities, and case studies of undocumented families, all in six different languages. The NYIC has gone on to partner with the NYC Department of Education to made the guide more accessible to educators and families.
The NYIC “promotes immigrants’ full civic participation, fosters their leadership, and provides a unified voice and a vehicle for collective action for New York’s diverse immigrant communities.“ Their proactive, engaged approach to improving DACA student access to services is what sets them apart as a model program nationwide for sharing information and resources. Comprehensive information for those who are DAPA and DACA eligible is available at the website.
It seems appropriate to note as this spotlight series closes that only two model programs of five were institutions of higher education. The rest are a combination of community non-profit and K-12 district endeavors. While there are most certainly other great programs and policies in effect across the country which were not identified, it is also important to note that none of these tips can be fully implemented only at the K12 level and be fully supportive of student needs in postsecondary. Hopefully this series has encouraged members to take the federal DACA guide in earnest so that more can be done to assist all students in seamlessly transitioning from K12 to a successful and positive higher education experience at any institution.
For previous articles in the DACA model series, see:
"Building staff capacity to support undocumented youth,"
"Creating an open and welcoming environment for undocumented youth,"
"Sharing information with undocumented youth," and
"How one college is improving services to undocumented youth."
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