The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the awareness, knowledge, and skills of institutional agents who interact with college students who are undocumented, to inform professional development and practice. Through a survey and interviews, participants revealed familiarity with students who are undocumented and discussed the support provided to them. All interview participants understood the experience of assisting students who are undocumented, as evidenced by six major themes: (a) an understanding of student financial needs, (b) recognizing students' anxiety, (c) providing consistent guidance, (d) establishing supportive collaborations, (e) gaining foundational knowledge, and (f) sharing professional development with others. Participants described the overwhelming financial needs of students who are undocumented as a barrier to their educational persistence. Participants also faced policy and legal limitations and lack of funding, which prevented them from assisting all students. The collaborative nature of higher education meant participants often had to rely on other professionals at their institutions to navigate policies and procedures. Participants expressed an essential responsibility to share information and engage in dialogue with other faculty and staff due to misinformation surrounding this population. The study concludes with suggestions for practice and further research.
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Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
College of Community Innovation and Education
Educational Leadership and Higher Education
Educational Leadership; Higher Education Track
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Alcivar, Doris, "An Exploration of Interactions between Institutional Agents and College Students who are Undocumented in the U.S." (2020). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 168.
Restricted to the UCF community until August 2020; it will then be open access.