Undocumented students lead a vibrant and successful movement to promote awareness and demand institutional resources to support educational equity regardless of immigration status. This project aims to help support this movement through academically rigorous data that will inform stakeholders within educational institutions on how to best provide resource that meet the needs of undocumented students.
UNDOCUMENTED UNDERGRADUATE EXPERIeNCES AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
The first wave of the project explored undergraduate student experiences at the University of California (UC) system. The first wave of USEP data was collected between 2014-2016. Focus groups and survey data collection focused on exploring student’s experiences on their UC campus and their use of campus resources. 154 UC undergraduate students participated in 32 focus groups and 29 one-on-one interviews throughout all nine undergraduate UC campuses. Participants included individuals from non-Latina/o racial backgrounds and who did not have DACA.
We also administered an online survey with a 125-questions in Spring 2016. We collected responses from 508 undocumented undergraduate students across all nine UC undergraduate campuses. We surveyed approximately fifteen percent of each campus’ estimated undocumented student population.
UNDOCUMENTED STUDENTS’ MENTAL HEALTH
Inspired by survey data that documented undocumented students’ mental health strain, we conducted a second wave of data collection at one University of California campus. We interviewed 30 undocumented students from March to July 2017 about their overall mental health, stress, formal and informal coping strategies, and the impact on their educational experiences.
UNDOCUMENTED STUDENTS’ ACADEMIC EXPERIENCES
Inspired by survey data that documented undocumented students’ academic struggles, we conducted a third wave of data collection at one University of California campus. We interviewed 30 undocumented students from March to July 2017 about their academic experiences, including overall academic performance and the use of academic support services.
This sub-study is being extended to a California State University campus and two university campuses in another state to compare experiences across institutional types and state policy contexts.
Funding was provided by grants from the John Randolph and Dora Haynes Foundation, UCLA Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, University of California Consortium on Social Science and Law, University of California Institute for Mexico and the United States, University of California Office of the President, and grant programs at UC Irvine (CORCL, Office of Inclusive Excellence, School of Social Sciences, and Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program).