UNDOCU Advising: Serving Undocumented, DACA, & DREAM Students

Undocumented immigrant youth, often called DREAMers, must learn to navigate a complex web of challenges in finding access to U.S. higher education, complicated by their non-citizen status, national and state laws, institutional policies, and various levels of campus support. Our panelists will provide a general overview of political, legal, social, and psychological contexts that affect access and equity to education for these students. We will explore best practices gathered within the last decade from both research and practitioner scholarship for effective campus-wide support. 

Join us as we read through the article "Building Undocumented Student Support in Higher Education Through a Culturally-Responsive Lens" by by Leonor L.  Wangensteen, University of Notre Dame. This article can be viewed here.

View our Facebook Event for past discussion questions and the rest of the #NACADAreads Community! 

Be sure to use the hashtags #NACADAreads and #AdvDREAMers as you bring this discussion into the social media community.


Leonor L. Wangensteen

Leonor L. Wangensteen is an academic advisor in the University of Notre Dame’s First Year of Studies (FYS). She is particularly interested in issues of diversity, inclusivity, and equity in higher education and serves as the Director of FYS Undocumented Student Initiatives. Wangensteen received her B.A. in Spanish literature and fine arts (2003) and M.A. in Iberian and Latin American studies (2009) from Notre Dame. Previous to advising, Wangensteen taught Spanish courses at the University’s Department of Romance Languages and Literatures and was involved in community-based learning initiatives.


Fai Howard

Dr. Howard received her B.A. in Sociology from Montclair State University.  She earned a M.S. in Sociology and a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University.  Dr. Howard joined the University of South Florida as the Assistant Dean for Upper-Level Initiatives in the Office of Undergraduate Studies the fall of 2017.  She previously held positions in higher education with Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, Virginia Commonwealth University, and J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College.  Her professional experience over the last 15 years in the areas of student success, structural reorganization, and strategic planning contribute to meeting institutional goals and, above all, supporting students.

Dr. Howard is a proud first generation college graduate who had a positive transformative undergraduate experience, which has influenced her approach to student success.  She fosters a student centered environment to enhance engagement and connectedness.  Her personal approach to student support is holistic. Dr. Howard purposefully seeks to understand the whole student, especially underrepresented and marginalized populations (both clearly visible and non-visible) in order to guide their academic and personal goals pre and post-graduation.
Michelle Sotolongo

Michelle was born in Mexico City and raised with one older sister in Houston, TX. She graduated from Texas State University, Magna Cum Laude, in 2007 with a BFA in Studio Art-Metals/Jewelry, and Fashion Merchandising minor. Additionally, she completed an undergraduate Honors thesis, What Would Jesus Wear?: the Fashioning of the Cross. Michelle earned a Master of Arts degree in International Studies, exploring US immigration, the culmination of which is her thesis, titled In Limbo: Bringing Stability to Undocumented Students Enrolled at Institutions of Higher Education in Central Texas. She enjoys cats, immigrant rights, delicious food, travel, and letting her mind get lost in new designs or research topics.


Read: Read entire article "Building Undocumented Student Support in Higher Education Through a Culturally-Responsive Lens"

Discuss: Join us in an online discussion in our Google Doc. 

Watch: Watch the free #NACADAreads webinar recorded on Friday, March 16th at 12pm CST with our panelists as they discuss their article "Building Undocumented Student Support in Higher Education Through a Culturally-Responsive Lens.”