Upwardly Global’s new report, “Unlocking Potential: Enhancing Community College Services for Immigrant and Refugee Students,” was recently featured on Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, a biweekly magazine covering matters of access, diversity, inclusion, and opportunity for all in higher education.
The report, created with funding from Lumina Foundation and research partners at the National Council for Workforce Education, underscores the important role community colleges can play in preparing immigrants, refugee, and asylees to enter the U.S. workforce.
“The report – created using stakeholder interviews, focus groups, and national survey data from more than 80 college practitioners from May to August 2023 – highlighted the various issues surrounding the immigrant student experience in community colleges, as well as best practices to improve the general situation.
For one, the accessibility and flexibility that community colleges offer is often considered an advantage. But for immigrant-origin students unfamiliar with them, the myriad options – a range of entry points and pathways, including credit and noncredit courses; certificates, graduate schools, and professional licenses – may prove confusing, according to the report.
The best practices presented in the report include increasing focus on short-term certificates and micro-credentialling to give immigrants fast entry into the U.S. workforce and improving data collection on student backgrounds and progress.”