Undocumented Latino College Students: Their Socioemotional and Academic Experiences

Undocumented Latino College Students: Their Socioemotional and Academic Experiences
William Perez and Richard Douglas Cortes
August 2011

ISBN-13:  978-1-59332-461-2 / Hardcover
Dimensions:  5.5 x 8.5 / xii, 186 pages

Price   $65.00

"A passionate appeal for facilitating college access for undocumented students. For educators and administrators whose lives intersect with them, this book will offer many insights and clarification of both the challenges and the resilience of undocumented students." -- The International Journal of Multicultural Education
"Community college researchers, practitioners, and administrators could benefit enormously from reading this book." -- The Review of Higher Education


Pérez and Cortés examine how undocumented Latino community college students cope with the challenges created by their legal status. They find that students experience feelings of shame, anger, despair, marginalization, and uncertainty stemming from discrimination, anti-immigrant sentiment, fear of deportation, and systemic barriers (e.g., ineligibility for financial aid). Despite moments of despair and an uncertain future, rather than become dejected, students reframe their circumstances in positive terms. Findings also highlight the importance of student advocates on campus, as well as the need to educate college personnel. The conclusion discusses the socioemotional implications of students’ ongoing legal marginality, and makes suggestions for institutional practices.

About the Author

William Perez is an Associate Professor of Education at Claremont Graduate University. He received his Ph.D. in Education from Stanford University. His research focuses on the social and psychological development of immigrant youth. He also studies the academic achievement and higher education access of Latino students. His most recent work examines the achievement motivation and civic engagement of undocumented students.
Richard D. Cortes is an Academic & Transfer Counselor at Glendale Community College (CA). He received his Ph.D. in Education from Claremont Graduate University, and both his Master’s degree in Counseling and Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from CSU, Northridge. His primary research interests covers minority student achievement, immigrant student issues, and social justice counseling.