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Social Sciences, Vol. 10, Pages 346: University and Professor

Social Sciences, Vol. 10, Pages 346: University and Professor Practices to Support DACA and Undocumented Students: DACA Student Experiences, Teacher Knowledge, and University Actions

Social Sciences doi: 10.3390/socsci10090346

Jenny Banh
Jelena Radovic-Fanta

The United States immigration policy Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) which protects some individuals from deportation was enacted in 2012, phased out in 2017 and is now under court challenges. There are still thousands of DACA students currently in higher education. The article highlights promising practices that professors and universities can put in place to support DACA students in the United States. Several semi-structured interviews were conducted with DACA students and Dream Center Directors in California universities to gauge students’ barriers and bridges to their higher education success. DACA students articulated public policy suggestions that universities and professors can immediately enact and have tangible results. Three themes were revealed in the interview data: the need for teacher knowledge, diversity of DACA student experiences, and for actions. These were explained as (1) knowledge of student’s lives, and, conversely, students’ access to information necessary for navigating college life; (2) the diversity of students’ life stories and experiences of trauma suffered during and after DACA rescinding decision; and (3) actions that should be taken by the faculty, staff, and the university community that would help students succeed academically.

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