Guiding Principles

  • Understanding that equity provides greater access than equality 
  • Seeking out university information on, about, and for undocumented students to ensure equity and clarity of processes and serve as consultants who further advocate for incremental change 
  • Reviewing processes and policies within our department and the university to see if greater access or clarity is possible 
  • Actively seeking student feedback and input on department progress and initiatives (Task Forces, programs, etc.) 
  • Acknowledging and affirming that students who are first-generation each have a unique lived experience, depending on the intersections of their cultural and family contexts, language(s) spoken, citizenship status, race, gender, economic status, sexual orientation, ability status, and other salient identities – specifically within the United States 
  • Amplifying the undocumented student community through the sharing of experiences, contributions, and needs 
  • Understanding that obstacles and opportunities during the collegiate experience and beyond vary greatly within the first-generation student community when considering students born in the U.S. as citizens and students who are undocumented or have pending citizenship  
  • Understanding that disclosure of an identity, namely being undocumented, is a process of trust-building and is not required to receive a service, attend an event, or seek support 
  • Protecting student information through the use of password protected files and providing data estimates 
  • Sharing of student identity or information will be kept private and password protected and only shared with individuals (full-time staff in the departments who have completed FERPA training and who are a part of processing any relevant documents/scholarships) when there is a need to connect to funding and/or resources 
  • Providing opportunities to share joy and accomplishments 
  • Checking in on the person before focusing on tasks 
  • Including student families as a part of the student experience and affirming balanced lives for staff and students 
  • Collectively building on the strengths that we bring to the team and identifying potential in others to develop their capacity to lead  
  • Questioning is not a form of weakness or lack of knowledge 
  • Seeking out as much information as possible when assisting students and colleagues (campus and community) in order to determine the best possible resource 
  • Attending to the nuances of data available for first-generation students to further disaggregate and identify areas of strength and growth toward student success and graduation 
  • Developing alternative solutions for addressing gaps in policies to meet student needs. 
  • Thinking beyond tradition to support the changing landscape of higher education and its students 
  • Building innovative processes that support the university in being prepared for first-generation and undocumented students