Over Spring Semester 2016, 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: Julie Carey, assistant professor of ESL; Alison Field, associate professor of history; Cynthia McCarthy, adjunct faculty librarian; Gerardo Pacheco, assistant professor of ESL, and Kristin Park, assistant professor of political science.
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.
Prof. 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.
Prof. 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.
Assistant Professor of ESL
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