Community colleges attract immigrant students for a variety of reasons, including affordability and accessibility, contextualized ESL programs, whether it’s for the workplace or academic instruction; an effective way to transition to a four-year college or directly to a career; and a welcoming environment that offers flexibility in class programming, location, and schedules.
And immigrant students are a resource to community colleges. The diversity in countries, cultures, and experiences represented in the immigrant student population strengthens community colleges campuses and classrooms. Immigrant education programs have become a key component in advancing community college’s strategic goals and a critical link connecting colleges with their communities. Through peer-to-peer mentoring programs, immigrant students help one another and create a more supportive learning environment enabling students to succeed academically. And by starting up and participating in clubs and organizing events and workshops, immigrant students are developing important leadership and advocacy skills.
The success of our work is measured by the success of our immigrant students who have benefited from their community college experiences. Their stories are below: