Throughout the nation there has been an increase of campus leaders and practitioners that have implemented support for undocumented students with and without work authorization at the undergraduate college level. However, there is still a gap in services and resources for undocumented students at the graduate level.
The University of California, Berkeley is leading the way with specialized undocumented graduate student services. The UndocuGrads community has been active on campus for a long time, but UndocuGrads was officially established on campus late Fall of 2020 under the office of Graduate Diversity. The program is funded through the University Of California Office of the President (UCOP), and private donor funds that support programming and student awards.
They have Jessica Mena Flores serving as the Undocumented Graduate Student Specialist, a specialized funded position that focuses on supporting undocumented graduate students. Along with Graduate Student Fellows, together they provide a variety of leading services to support the navigation, retention and success of undocumented graduate students.
UndocuGrads at UC Berkeley provides both on- and off- campus resources by partnering with various organizations and programs to meet the needs of undocumented graduate students. In collaboration with East Bay Community Law Center and the Undocumented Student Program, they are able to provide legal services to undocumented students. They also hold monthly Support Wellness Circles, provide financial support, and community building events. One of their most well attended events is their UndocuGrads monthly dinners where students are able to meet and network with other undocumented graduate students across various disciplines. Overall, the Office for Graduate Diversity provides a variety of professional development workshops and supports the undergraduate pipeline for underrepresented minoritized students to learn more about graduate school.
The Higher Ed Immigration Portal is supporting immigrant students seeking to continue their higher education journey beyond their bachelor’s degree. We continue sharing vital sources of information to help inform campuses of the different innovative and effective practices such as their support for the access and success of immigrant students in higher education. You can learn more about The UndocuGrads community at the UndocuGrads website.