This professional project includes five chapters, with the fourth chapter being a draft of an article, which is the culmination of this professional project. This professional project identified gaps in past literature and examined institutional barriers that impact access to higher education institutions for students without documentation (SWD) at the state and federal levels. The draft of the article for this project will explore the policy and sociopolitical context that impacts SWD as they navigate higher education. Further, the article draft suggests ways to support SWD informed by past literature. The social factors that impact SWD and will be discussed are the following: social capital, mental health, misconceptions, and invisibility. Lastly, the draft of the article concludes with an action plan for educational professionals and relevant ways to advocate for SWD to help them thrive in higher education and life. The importance of a long-term solution at the federal level for immigration reform to increase access to higher education institutions for SWD will be emphasized.

Keywords: immigration, students without documentation, DACA, DREAMers, higher education.

Exit Requirement

Professional Project

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education: Curriculum and Instruction

Committee Chair

Joshua Schulze

Committee Member

Maria Dantas-Whitney

Committee Member

Luanne Carrillo


immigration, students without documentation, DACA, DREAMers, higher education



Type (DCMI Terms)


Subject Categories

Educational Leadership | Higher Education

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