Arcadia University Faculty Drs. Hilary Dick, Ana Maria Garcia and Jeffrey Shultz presented “The Hidden Other: Immigrants in Higher Education” at the Modeling Equity, Engaging Difference: New Frameworks for Diversity and Learning conference in Baltimore, Md., on Oct. 19. The conference was sponsored by Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U).
Dick, Assistant Professor of International Studies, and Garcia, Associate Professor and Chair of Sociology, led the first section of the workshop, presenting new ways that institutions of higher education can better recognize the unique contributions of immigrant students and better serve their unique needs.
Garcia’s talk focused on the challenges immigrant students face succeeding in college. She addressed social networks that are able to teach them how to advocate for their needs in college and how, conversely, college and university administrator and teachers often mis-recognize the talents and needs of these students.
Tackling the topic of the U.S. immigration policy and its history, Dick presented on the role it plays in constructing certain populations of immigrant as suspect and “unwanted,” which directly shapes the needs and challenges of immigrant students. Additionally, both Garcia and Dick discussed current policy trends that will affect students, such as the USA Dream Act.
Following the presentations, Shultz organized and facilitated the second portion of the a lively discussion with a group of teachers and administrators from a wide range of colleges and universities.
“The discussion resulted, as we had hoped, in some concrete plans for action related to the needs of immigrant students, which we will also be endeavoring to implement at Arcadia as well—thanks to Jeff’s leadership,” notes Dick.
“It was a huge success,” adds Shultz, Professor of Education. “An AAC&U staff member who was there said it was the best session he had ever attended at an AAC&U conference. Ana and Hilary did Arcadia proud.”