Grads to Be ProgramEmpowered, Educated and Undocumented Students
The Grads to Be Program began in Spring 2016 to provide a variety of services and resources for undocumented students at Fullerton College. The program’s focus is on students overall wellness as a means to facilitate and enhance their educational experience at Fullerton College and complete their educational goals on a timely basis. A holistic approach enables our staff to address the multiple stressors associated with being undocumented in order for students to thrive personally, academically and professionally. The program supports students’ resiliency and fosters a welcoming environment for them to fulfill their maximum potential.
Program Philosophy & Goal
To promote and nurture a sense of belonging though the philosophical and practical application of Safe Zones within the entire institution and the community at large.
The educational institution, in and of itself, should be a safe zone for ALL students…period. The fact that a student is a student first and foremost, rather than a student with a qualifier, is sufficient evidence that anywhere they go within that institution they will be welcomed and supported.
How we arrive at this, does require institutional and individual cooperation and change. It is a commitment to understanding the diversity of our student population. Becoming aware of the particular experience, challenges and strengths of undocumented students, allows us to improve our service delivery, retention and success in order to implement best practices. This is inclusive of every single group that is marginalized. It is incumbent upon those of us working in education to increase our awareness about the needs of the students who support and maintain our institutions. Implementing best practices throughout the institution fosters growth and allows students to thrive in a safe and productive environment.
By engaging in a common language, we are better able to understand our students’ experience, challenges and strengths. This enhances service delivery, provides an environment that is inclusive across campus, and enables students to thrive simply by being themselves.
Sylvia Pimentel, MSW
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Our objectives are to
- Have informed students by providing related information and resources
- Advocate for and facilitate access to services
- Enhance personal growth and well being and life skills
- Promote campus wide awareness on the multiple stressors impacting students as well as the resiliency and strengths utilized to overcome adversity
- Cultivate and foster the philosophy and practices that the entire campus is a Safe Zone; where EVERY educator, staff and student alike contribute to a welcoming and secure environment for ALL students
Goals will be accomplished with the provision of the following services
- Mentorship Program
- Academic Counseling
- Annual Undocumented Student Conference
- CA Dream Act Workshops (in collaboration with the Financial Aid Department)
- Speaker Series with field experts
- Workshops on multiple areas such as leadership, self-esteem, stress management, self-advocacy, etc.
- College exposure and tours (in collaboration with the Transfer Center)
- Conferences with experts on policy and available resources (students and program staff)
- Resource information and referral to campus and community agencies
- Supportive services to address psychosocial stressors
- Related student events: i.e. graduation, networking, planning activities, etc.
- Share the knowledge information sessions for staff, faculty and parents