BRP Membership Testimonials

Our Blue Ribbon Panel members are actively engaged in advancing the field of immigrant education, through implementation of innovative programs and services, sharing best practices, providing advocacy and outreach to the immigrant community, and other initiatives.  Here is what our BRP members say about the benefits of being part of CCCIE and their recommendations for the future:


“The original group of members when CCCIE was founded had all the key elements that make it successful today – it was made up of a group of good people that really care for the immigrant population, share best practices on programs that are working, opportunities that present themselves, provide expertise. CCCIE can become a clearing house of experts that are needed to serve this population … i.e. who do you turn to for good assessments, what’s working in terms of career pathways and how do they work. That kind of information is very valuable to colleges with workforce pipeline programs. Now CCCIE needs to more aggressively focus on identifying policies that are working and in what communities, and how can it become more effective as a change agent organization whether that takes the form of lobbying and/or advocacy”. Dr. Frederico Zaragoza, Vice Chancellor for Economic & Workforce Development, Alamo Community College District, TX

“CCCIE developed and published a while back a handout that captured my attention immediately when I first was exposed to CCCIE. It was a one-page flyer on ‘Supporting Educational Access for Undocumented Youth Through Deferred Action: 10 Things Community College Educators Can Do.’ That Call to Action Tool Kit helped us tremendously enhance through our community centers in San Antonio, services for our immigrant student population and their families by creating ‘safe and welcoming places.’ In essence this has been part of the framework that we continue to expand on today thanks to CCCIE.” Carmen De Luna-Jones, Offsite Coordinator, Brackenridge Education & Training Centers, Alamo Community College District, TX

“CCCIE conducted a workshop on immigration in partnership with United We Dream that was very informative because participants learned about best practices at other institutions. Alamo has tried to mimic those programs in San Antonio. As a result of networking with BRP members they realized that providing support services like DACA workshops, financial aid workshops, raising funds to provide scholarships, health clinics, is critical to student success beyond just enrollment in the college. They now include information on all these services on their website. They also learned how to advocate on behalf of immigrants by getting on committees at colleges, for example, the scholarship committee. The networking ensures that the college administration is exposed to ideas on how to expand services to immigrant students.” Melissa A. Sadler-Nitu, Director of I-BEST & ABE, Alamo Community College District, TX


“CCCIE has been at the forefront of relevant legislation and keeps MDC informed regarding these legislations and executive programs, such as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). CCCIE through its BRP members has also facilitated the sharing of many high impact immigrant best practices across community colleges. Additionally, CCCIE has partnered with other agencies to offer technical assistance, such as training for MDC staff together with WES Global Talent Bridge on how to evaluate foreign credentials. . . Through the College Presidents Campaign, CCCIE will increase awareness of what it has to offer to community colleges, targeting top leadership/presidents of colleges who make resource allocation and policy decisions.” Malou Harrison, President, North Campus, Miami Dade College, FL


“CCCIE can deepen community college impact by offering meaningful services such as bringing about exchange visits among member colleges to spend extended time together to study and help implement best practice programs hands on.” Margie McHugh, Director, National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy, Migration Policy Institute


“CCCIE connects its members to the wider world of what is going on in the field. This has been very valuable; NOVA has learned a lot through the professional interchange with senior individuals. I heard about I-Best at a CCCIE convening. Attendance at the meetings that have been held is high. CCCIE also adds credibility to community colleges serving immigrants. CCCIE is already doing a lot in collecting and distributing best practices and they need to continue and expand on this.” Elizabeth P. Harper, Associate Vice President for Student Services & Enrollment Management, Northern Virginia Community College, VA


“South Texas College (STC) is very data driven. Our involvement with CCCIE lets us share our experiences and learn from others. We have different initiatives at STC directed at how to make education and resources available to lower skilled immigrants. These kinds of experiences at other BRP member colleges should be shared in detail so that others can implement something similar. Continuing education tends to be an independent, self-sufficient unit within larger college institutions with high visibility to the financials and operations of how programs are working. This information is of high value to other community colleges that have a large number of both higher and lower skilled immigrants in their service area.” Juan Carlos Aguirre, Dean, Continuing Education, South Texas College


“The real value of CCCIE is its dedication and ability to influence policy across the nation on how immigrant students are included in financial aid funding. It is critical that this work be a focus not just for community colleges, but for all agencies dedicated to supporting immigrants in their pursuit of living-wage employment. CCCIE needs to continue to work with groups interested in influencing policy both locally and nationally. It is essential that CCCIE continue to expand its network of partners to include other community-based organizations that provide key wraparound services to immigrants. It is also crucial that CCCIE maintain its focus on training and education. We fall short when we consider just the first job that we get immigrants into without doing everything possible to move them towards family sustainable, living-wage careers.” Jon Kerr, Director of Adult Basic Education, Washington State Board for Community & Technical Colleges, WA