Studying past literature, we are trying to get background information on three stages of an undocumented student’s college experience: access, experience with in the institution, and options post-graduation. The majority of research surrounding this population is focused on access to college. The experiences of students in their college career is also featured relatively as much. However, there were very few articles on what happens after students graduate. I would look at different databases and used a variety of words and combinations to hoping a study addressed this component with no luck.
A lot can be said from the information you can’t find. Unfortunately it makes sense that there aren’t as many studies about experiences after college. Few of the 65,000 students that graduate high school yearly make it to college, and about 2,000 make it all the way through college and graduate. It’s hard to conduct a study without participants.
This also applies in trying to find information of the experiences and challenges of undocumented students who are of different nationalities and ethnicities, identify as LGBTQ, live in different regions of the country, or attend different types institutions of higher education. There are so many voices that aren’t being represented; and therefore, makes it difficult to assist these students.
Community college is a very significant gateway for undocumented students. The close proximity to home and the lower prices, these opportunities are more attainable. Yet, the majority of research focuses on 4-year universities. So it would make sense to study community colleges and their policies?
Additionally, advocacy is centered in southern border states. Little work includes the midwest which leads to the purpose of this project. Researching different institutions of higher education, we hope to put together a comprehensive guide for counselors, students and other advocates to navigate through the different policies of the many institutions of the state.
As DACA and immigration reform become a more controversial and polarized subject, it is now more important to ensure that the rights of this community are protected. With that in perspective, it is critical to not leave other identities out. Research has a large influence on spreading awareness and changing policy, so we must make better efforts to include as many experiences as possible.