Forum Presents to Michigan College Advising Corps

National Forum doctoral student researchers Angela Vidal-Rodriguez and Aurora Kamimura presented a training session to the Michigan College Advising Corps (MCAC) on November 4, 2011.  The title of the presentation was “Higher Education Access for Immigrant & Undocumented Students: Implications for Counselors.”

The presentation draws from recent research conducted by the National Forum which examines issues faced by immigrant and undocumented students who are seeking to pursue higher education.  Specifically, the research explores how colleges and universities negotiate laws that constrain undocumented students’ educational access, and how those institutions reconcile the laws with institutional values, governance arrangements, professional norms, and local circumstances.

Research has shown that higher levels of education are tied to numerous public good outcomes, including increased civic participation, greater appreciation for the arts, and increased lifetime earnings.  These and other public good benefits form the foundation of the National Forum’s mission and research.  In the present day, nearly 1/3rd of the immigrant population in the US is undocumented, which totals approximately 12 million individuals.  Approximately 65,000 undocumented students graduate from high school each year.  The training session to MCAC provided college advisors with context to allow them to best assist students who may fall into this considerable demographic.

The University of Michigan is proud to have been named the partner institution of the National College Advising Corps to form the Michigan College Advising Corps (MCAC).  The goal of the MCAC is to increase the number of low-income, first-generation and underrepresented students entering and completing higher education in the state of Michigan.  Following in the tradition of the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps and Teach for America programs, the MCAC recruits and trains a diverse group of recent University of Michigan college graduates to work full-time as college advisers in underserved high schools throughout Michigan for one or two years following graduation.  These advisers serve as an important resource for the schools as they assist high school students navigate every aspect of the college-going process.  The program strives to increase students’ chances of persistence in postsecondary education by focusing on the best fit and match between the students and their college choices.  Additionally, the program works to assist principals, counselors, and teachers to foster a college-going culture at their schools and in their communities.

This training session represents another in an ongoing series of  presentations by National Forum researchers regarding access to higher education.  In addition, the Forum has numerous research projects underway which examine access issues, especially for undocumented students.  Check back regularly to the National Forum website for updates on our important and exciting work!

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