Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The perception of campus climate and academic experience of undocumented students in a 4-year public university
by Heckenberg, Rosa, Ed.D., California State University, Long Beach, 2016, 199; 10127179
Abstract (Summary)

This qualitative interview study explored the campus climate and experiences of 25 undocumented students at a public 4-year university. In addition, the study explored how campus climate shaped how the undocumented students utilized their community cultural wealth (CCW) while in college. Three themes define the findings based on 25 interviews with undocumented students: (1) undocumented students’ experience with a welcoming campus climate, (2) undocumented students’ experience with a unwelcoming campus climate, and (3) how campus climate shaped undocumented students’ utilization of CCW in college. For each of the themes, several subthemes helped to describe the findings.

Data analysis showed that participants who received academic support from faculty and staff in some departments and programs and from the leaders of the university experienced a welcoming climate and felt that they mattered to the campus and that the institution cared about their academic success. Participants noted the symbolization of the Dream Center at the university and the capture and understanding of how they utilized the six capitals described in the CCW conceptual frame by Tara Yosso.

These findings will help to expose challenges and struggles that undocumented students experience while trying to obtain a college degree. It is recommended that future research seek knowledge on how to alleviate the struggles that undocumented students experience in college in order to serve them more effectively. It is recommended that such research include undocumented student subgroups other than Latinos to identify the needs of this unique population of students. Furthermore, it is essential that institutions of higher education increase professional development for educators to address the educational needs of undocumented students. By educators participating in professional development, they will be able to develop best practices that will benefit the academic success of undocumented students.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Huber, Lindsay Perez
Commitee: Jarnagin, Lea, Ortiz, Anna
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 77/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Education
Keywords: Students experience, Undocumented students, Welcoming campus climate
Publication Number: 10127179
ISBN: 978-1-339-85216-4
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