Celebrating 1-Year of the Community of Practice Directory and Network

Celebrating One Year of the Community of Practice Directory and Network

Last month, the Presidents’ Alliance celebrated the first anniversary of the first national Undocumented Community of Practice Directory and Network with TheDream.US and Immigrants Rising! Launched in April of 2023, the directory and network were established in response to participants of the 2022 SUCCESS Convening who requested a platform for engaging in critical dialogue about issue areas deemed important on their campus. The purpose of the directory is to provide a centralized and accessible database of higher education practitioners in colleges, universities, and non-profit organizations across the nation working with undocumented students. This is an important space for collaborative problem-solving, community building, and ideation to better support undocumented students on their educational and career journey.

Below you will find an overview of all we have accomplished together this year and also share what’s to come for fall 2024!

Number of Practitioners per State in the Undocumented Student Communities of Practice Directory on the Higher Ed Immigration Portal

Since the directory launched in April 2023, we have grown the directory to 191 profiles! These profiles include practitioners, faculty, administrators, and CBO staff from 32 states across the U.S.! Most individuals are located in California, Illinois, and the District of Columbia.

“A huge shout to those who have brought the creation of the Undocumented Community of Practice Directory and Network to light in higher education spaces. I’m looking forward to a new year filled with more opportunities to connect with undocu-ally professionals nationally and to utilize this network for providing warm connections of support to students.”

Yejin (Sarah) Kim, Founder/CEO of Edu Light, Inc.

Additionally, we kicked off Community of Practice meetings with a launch party in September 2023 where we got to hear from practitioners who have utilized the network and directory. Our speakers shared how they have strengthened their support networks by reaching out to other practitioners in the directory for brainstorming and resource sharing. As well as connecting with practitioners in different state policy environments to develop best practices for implementing tuition equity and financial aid within their state.

So far, we have hosted five community of practice meetings where we dove deeper into the topics of Challenges and Successes of Policy Implementation, Equipping the Career Center to Work with Undocumented Students, How to Implement NEBOs at Your Institution, and SUCCESS Convening Follow-up.

Subject area experts are invited to share existing support models in colleges and universities and provide a space for participants to brainstorm solutions to implement at their institutions. In total, we’ve had 392 participants attend our meetings!

As we look back on our work over the past year, we recognize the need to create a supportive community for practitioners across the country who often feel isolated and frustrated when trying to advocate for undocumented students. Whether their role is full-time or support students in an unofficial capacity, practitioners who work with undocumented students wear multiple hats such as counselors, social workers, and advocates. The creation of the Undocumented Community of Practice has allowed us to understand national trends and prioritize certain issue areas.

Communities of Practice Launch Party

Currently, we are conducting an evaluation and planning the topics for Fall 2024. Stay tuned!

In community,

Ivana & Luz