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February 2014: 
Issue 2.5    
In this Issue:
Community Colleges

$25 Million College Scholarship Fund Created for Undocumented 'Dreamers'
Lyndsey Layton

February 6, 2014

Philanthropy News Digest

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How Community College Was More Enriching Than Going to Yale

Nathalie Alegre

February 10, 2014
National Journal
Wash. State Introduces New Version of the Dream Act
Associated Press
February 3, 2014
Community College Daily


Milan, Italy

November 3rd-7th, 2014

19th Metropolis International Immigration Conference

Berlin, Germany
June 4th-6th, 2014
An Agenda For Shared Prosperity Conference

Washington D.C.
July 7th-10th, 2014
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Migration and Refugee Services: National Migration Conference


Community College Consortium for Immigrant Education

For nearly 100 years, community colleges have been centers of educational opportunity. Often referred to as "Democracy's colleges", they are inclusive institutions that provide the most accessible and affordable path to post-secondary education and workforce training for all who desire to learn, regardless of wealth, heritage, or previous academic experience.  Today, among those students who depend on community colleges as entry points to higher education are immigrants and their children.


Established in 2008, the Community College Consortium for Immigrant Education is a national network of over 30 community colleges and other leading professional organizations committed to strengthening and expanding programs and services for immigrant students and leveraging the role community colleges play in immigrant integration. CCCIE is guided by a Blue Ribbon Panel that includes colleges - both urban and rural-from a dozen different states, representing traditional gateway destinations as well as newer destination states.


While community colleges are well positioned to serve foreign-born students, they face numerous challenges in supporting this diverse student population, which includes:

  • Over 25 million foreign-born non-citizens age 18 and over have limited English proficiency.While their educational backgrounds differ, many could be served in various ways by community colleges.
  • Each year about 65,000 undocumented students graduate from U.S. high schools, but only about 5-10 percent go on to college due to legal, financial, and other barriers.
  • An estimated 1.8 million foreign-educated, skilled immigrants residing in the U.S. are unemployed or underemployed. Many are scientists, engineers, or doctors who have been unable to re-enter their careers in the U.S.  

Moreover, immigrants often lack knowledge of the US higher education system and its processes and may face financial obstacles even greater than most, due to limited access to federal and state financial aid.          


Today, 1 in 4 community college students is an immigrant or child of an immigrant. On some campuses, the percentage is much higher. The nation's 1200 community colleges play an integral role in the linguistic, civic and economic integration of our nation's newcomers.  As the US population ages and millions of baby boomers retire, immigrants and their U.S.-born children will account for all workforce growth between now and 2050. For this fast-growing segment of the population, resources and policies are needed to support economic growth, educational attainment, college completion, and career enhancement.


CCCIE has significantly enriched the field of immigrant education and training by projecting a national unified voice, providing a dynamic network for exchange of innovative models that are improving educational outcomes for immigrant students, and developing strategic, cross-sector partnerships that expand CCCIE's policy reach at the state and local levels.


CCCIE has been able to build upon its success from past years, mobilizing the resources and expertise of its Blue Ribbon Panel and leveraging its research and strategic partnerships to deliver on-the-ground technical assistance that has helped colleges increase educational and career opportunities for immigrant students. Additionally, CCCIE is generating new interest and increased national recognition of its work among key stakeholders, including government leaders, higher education associations, researchers, immigrant advocates, and student activists. With immigration reform and the nation's educational and labor force needs in the policy forefront, CCCIE is well positioned to support the community college sector in ensuring the educational and workforce success of immigrants and their families.



Teresita Wisell, CCCIE Executive Director and
Associate Dean, The Gateway Center, Westchester Community College; 914-606-7866


Jill Casner-Lotto, CCCIE Director,; 914-606-5644


Miami Dade College (MDC)


Over the past 20 years, Miami Dade College has proven itself to be a champion of immigration education through the various innovative programs it has developed to serve the immigrant community. MDC is the most diverse college in the nation, serving over 175,000 students from 94 countries who speak 41 languages. MDC's commitment to immigration education is demonstrated in the relevant programs it offer, ranging from ESL to financial literary to vocational training.


MDC offers several programs that are geared specifically to adult learners. Eighty percent of its students work, and more than one-quarter have full-time jobs. MDC has therefore created an academic environment that is well-suited for adult learners by offering a flexible class schedule and online courses, among other options. For example, the EL Civics Program, a program that serves the poorest and neediest immigrant communities in the city, provides wraparound service that combine academics with citizenship, GED, and health literacy classes and other student services and cultural activities. Additionally, the Refugee/Entrant Vocational Educational Services Training Program assists the English-language and vocational training needs of adult refugees, political asylees, and victims of severe forms of trafficking. 


Moreover, the Title-V Project ACE Program meets the educational needs of immigrants who arrive in this country with post-secondary degrees. This program's goal is to provide an accelerated track for immigrants to concurrently learn English as a Second Language and enroll in courses in their intended major. As seen in the countless success stories of its alumni, MDC's extensive immigrant-focused programming is a testament to how immigration education can be a pathway to economic stability and professional mobility


Read more about Miami Dade College > >


From Access to Opportunity: The Evolving Social Roles of Community Colleges

Vanessa Smith Morest 

The American Sociologist, Vol. 44, Issue 4, (December, 2013)

While four-year universities have traditionally catered to a more affluent and homogeneous student body, community colleges have long been oriented towards "non-traditional" students. Morest explores the role of community colleges as "multi-purpose" institutions, continually adapting to the diverse needs of their student bodies. The article explores the diversity of this student body in terms of ethnicity, legal status and academic preparation. This research is important for the study of immigrant integration because it provides a view of community because it highlights the ability of community colleges to meet the most pressing needs of historically underrepresented groups. In doing so, the article points out that community colleges often serve as an important bridge to a four year degree. The article concludes with an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of such programs and implications for future practice.  

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¿Y ahora qué? Anticipated immigration status barriers and Latina/o high school students' future expectations.

Ellen Hawley McWhirter, Karina Ramos, Cynthia Medina

Cultural Diversity & Ethnic Minority Psychology, Vol. 19, Issue 3, (July, 2013)

Lack of formal immigration status is a significant barrier to higher education for undocumented youth. This article includes data from 475 Latina/o high school students without documentation. The research focuses on the interplay between access to education and the formation of future expectations. Researchers indicate that a student's anticipation of problems involving immigration status has a negative impact on expectations regarding vocational training and post-secondary plans. Additionally, lack of status was a strong predictor of community college enrollment for Latina girls and older high school students. The article includes a lengthy discussion of the policy implications of this research. This study adds to the dialogue concerning the role of community colleges in integration by highlighting the connection between internalized expectations and educational attainment.

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How states can reduce the dropout rate for undocumented immigrant youth: The effects of in-state resident tuition policies

Stephanie Potochnick

Social Science Research, Vol. 44, (2014)

This article looks at the connection between post-secondary educational opportunities and educational attainment in high school. Specifically, the article discusses the impact of in-state resident tuition policies that extend residency discounts to undocumented students. It identifies cost as a prohibitive factor on student motivation as well as tertiary education attainment. Using both human capital theory and segmented assimilation theory, this paper discusses how increased access to higher education influences student motivation and educational achievement in high school. Potochnick concludes that extending in-state tuition to undocumented youth reduces their high school dropout rates by 8 percent. As such, in-state tuition helps promote integration by supporting academic commitment in secondary and tertiary school. While the article does not discuss community colleges exclusively, it provides a powerful statistical argument for increasing access to higher education for immigrant youth.   

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Role of Community Colleges in the Implementation of Postsecondary Education Enrollment Policies for Undocumented Students

H. Kenny Nienhusser

Community College Review, Vol. 42, Issue 1, (January 2014)

In this article, the authors examine the City University of New York and its efforts to address the tertiary educational needs of undocumented students. This article offers a specific example of how the in-state tuition policies discussed in Stephanie Potochnick's work impact immigrant youth. Specific attention is paid the those who are tasked with implementing this policy. The article details both the successes and failures of implementation and provides valuable insights for future research. Importantly the author also includes an extensive literature review which collates existing information regarding the role of community colleges in the education of immigrants.

Read More Here > >




Seeking the Common Dream Between Worlds: Stories of Chinese Immigrant Faculty in North American Higher Education

Yan Wang & Yali Zhao (Eds.) (2013): Information Age Publishing
Through authors' vivid portray of the ebbs and flows of their life in the academe, readers will gain an enjoyable and holistic knowledge of the cultural, political, linguistic, scholarly, and personal issues that contemporary Chinese immigrant faculty encounter as they cross the border of multiple worlds. All contributors to this book are first-generation Chinese immigrants, who currently teaching or used to teach in North American higher education institutions and were born, brought up, and educated in Mainland China and came to North America for graduate degrees from early 1980s to 2000.
Latinos in Higher Education: Creating Conditions for Student Success (J-B ASHE Highter Education Report Series

Anne-Marie Nunez, Richard E. Hoover, Kellie Pickett, A. Christine Stuart-Carruthers & Maria Vazquez (2013): J-B ASHE Higher Education Report Series

This monograph presents relevant contemporary research, focusing on the role of institutional contexts. Drawing particularly on research grounded in Latino students' perspectives, it identifies key challenges Latino students face and discuss various approaches to address these challenges. Because so many Latino students are enrolled in federally designated Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), it also specifically explores HSIs' role in promoting Latinos' higher education access and equity. As a conclusion, it offers recommendations for institutional, state, and federal policies that can foster supportive contexts. 


EDITORS:  E. Broderick, V. Corbera, W. Egmont, C. Goldstein-Walsh, J. Nomeland, and A. Young