The DREAMers Inquiry Group sought to learn what obstacles undocumented students face pursuing a college education with an eye to clearing their pasth. First, they identified a group and a method of eliciting information in a way they would feel comfortable sharing.
The group pursued two angles; collecting personal stories and using a social science tool. Gerardo Pacheco Matus, a group member, agreed to share his powerful story (see "Gerardo's Story", right).
The group studied surveys universities had done of their undocumented students (see "Studies & Reports" below) and decided to poll Cañada College students who qualified for resident tuition under AB 540. Cañada College's Data Dashboard provided names of 421 students for the anonymous survey. The survey was emailed to 420 students in April 2016.
At the end of spring semester 2016, they presented a portrait of our campus climate and the experiences of undocumented students from the results of the survey in hopes of improving undocumented students’ access to college through outreach and services.
DREAMers Inquiry Group members who created this survey in spring 2016 were:
Gerardo Pacheco Matus, a Mayan native, was recipient of a 2015 Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference Work-Study Scholarship. In 2012, The San Francisco Foundation awarded Pacheco the distinguished Joseph Henry Jackson Award. Pacheco’s poems and essays have appeared in numerous publications including: Black Lawrence Press, Jambu Press, San Francisco Foundation, El Tecolote Newspaper, Cipactli Magazine, Amistad Howard-University, Poets Responding to SB1070, and The University of Arizona Press.
Pacheco is a former Sequoia Adult School and Cañada College graduate. He holds a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) with an emphasis on Creative Writing from San Francisco State University and a TESOL Certificate from UCSC Extension Silicon Valley. Pacheco teaches Creative Writing at San Francisco State University and ESL at Cañada College off-campus.
Please click here to hear the story of Gerardo's decision to leave Mexico and his educational journey.
Compiled by Julie Carey
ESL Instructor, Cañada College
Any Cañada College student may open a Peninsula Library System library account. Come see us at the Circulation Desk in the library.
UndocuCollege Guide & Equity Tool California 2016: Working Toward Educational Equity & Inclusion of Undocumented Students at Institutions of Higher Education in California may be found here. In the words of creators:
"We offer this guide and equity tool as an integral part of this new strategy and a stepping stone toward a new ecosystem for California Higher Education. Our collective vision: Every undocumented young person in the state of California has access to a quality and equitable education to fulfill their future aspirations and maximize their contributions to better our overall society."