As this Guide is designed to show, serving this population of students doesn’t require a host of new and expensive programs. Rather, it calls on your community college to take a fresh look at how you reach out to foreign-educated immigrants and how you integrate these prospective students into the array of existing programs and resources that are offered on your campus to help all of your students succeed. It encourages your community college to think of foreign-educated immigrants as valued assets to your community, capable – with your guidance and assistance – of filling local skill shortages in key sectors like health care, engineering and technology.
Understanding issues that relate to other departments and thinking about ways to collaborate with colleagues across divisions and in your community can make all the difference for foreign-educated students.
This Guide is intended for front-line community college staff like you: admissions officers, academic advisors, career counselors, ESL and other faculty members, college librarians, financial aid advisors, and workforce development staff.
Regardless of what role you play, we invite you to familiarize yourself with the entire Guide and to take advantage of all the resources it offers. Understanding issues that relate to other departments and thinking about ways to collaborate with colleagues across divisions and in your community can make all the difference for foreign-educated students. We hope this Guide encourages you to begin to think about the community college experience from their perspective.
This Guide is organized as a series of questions for you to reflect on and to discuss with your colleagues. These questions are coupled with practical ideas, case studies, suggestions and resources you can use on a daily basis as you interact with foreign-educated immigrants looking to re-build a professional life in the U.S.
Chapter 1 focuses on the community college outreach and admissions process. It poses a series of questions designed to help you assess how wide open your college’s front door really is, and showcases what other community colleges are doing to reach out to foreign-educated immigrants.
Chapter 2 explores strategies aimed at ensuring that foreign-educated students move forward, not backward in their education and get the credit they deserve for their prior academic achievement.
Chapters 3 through 5 include suggestions and resources related to academic and career advising, ESL instruction, and financial aid opportunities, respectively.
Finally, Chapter 6 contains a “call to action” for everyone who works at a community college and who is interested in better serving foreign-educated immigrants. In the end, it will take the concerted efforts of administrators and front-line staff alike to make a difference for this student population.
On behalf of the foreign-educated immigrants our organizations serve, we thank you in advance for taking the time to ponder the issues this Guide raises, and for incorporating into your own work with immigrants some of the resources this Guide includes. Together, we can help these students realize their American dream.