Logo for: President's Alliance Higher Education & Immigration

About SUCCESS National Convening

Supporting Undocumented Students’ College & Career Equity: Strategies for Success (March 25- 27, 2022 at Swarthmore College, PA) 

In March 2022, over a hundred and eighty people attended the inaugural SUCCESS convening.  Attendees represented 67 institutions and organizations from across the country,  and included campus and student leaders, organizational partners, student advocates, and policy experts.  The goal of the SUCCESS convening was to bring together these diverse stakeholders to improve equitable access to higher education and careers for undocumented immigrant students, learn from each others’ successes, identify and solve common challenges, and produce a sustainable network in which to share promising practices.  Following the convening, we asked the participants for their feedback on the sessions, and suggestions for how we should build on our time together for future convenings and collaboration.  The convening received high marks from participants, who also shared excellent suggestions and ideas for the future.  

Traveling to the conference was very impactful, I had never flown and in this experience I was supported from all sides of my family seeing that this was not just for me but for everyone to get past fears that keep us from living.

Convening Participant

Areas of the convening that were most valuable to participants

Attendees found the state of play data very valuable and are interested in seeing how they can continue the conversations with each other.  Other highlights included:  

  • The connections and networking between students, advocates, practitioners and policy experts
  • Learning about what other institutions are doing and who are the key players in each campus 
  • Identifying models and best practices to take back to their respective campuses to support undocumented students

Overall, I felt re-energized around this work and learned a lot of very valuable campus tips, tools and a better understanding of the current policy landscape. Also, I felt that now I have an incredible list of individuals and organizations that I can reach out to for guidance and help as I begin to implement more of these ideas back on my campus.

Convening Participant

Ideas for Future Convenings:

  • Centering current undocumented voices and including immigrant experiences across the different diasporas 
  • Keeping in mind who the target audience is and identifying speakers that resonate with and represent that audience
  • Combating the dreamer narrative more explicitly 
  • Less presentations and more time for informal networking 
  • Sharing more best practices from restrictive states

Suggestions for continuing the SUCCESS conversations and work:

  • Continue the sharing of best practices through learning communities that allow practitioners to dive deeper into specific areas of interest 
  • Networking and community building through online platforms
  • Creating the space for more in person engagements or online group discussions/working groups
  • A directory of convening attendees 
  • An archive of resources, guides, presentations, etc…