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Title:Motivating factors of academic advisors supporting undocumented students in higher education
Author(s):Newell, Melissa
Director of Research:Delaney, Jennifer A
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Delaney, Jennifer A
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Ward Hood, Denice; Trent, William; Del Real Viramontes, José
Department / Program:Educ Policy, Orgzn & Leadrshp
Discipline:Ed Organization and Leadership
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):higher education
academic advising
academic advisor
undocumented students
DACAmented students
case study
Abstract:This study explores the motivational factors prompting academic advisors to expand their Undocumented/DACAmented Status Competency (UDSC). The focus is on why advisors enhance their ability to support this unique population in college, providing a deeper understanding of how they view their experience, specifically as it relates to personal, institutional, and political factors. Advisors work directly with students throughout college, and are one of the most important aspects of the student experience, serving a key role towards student and institutional success. Undocumented students in higher education experience unique challenges and barriers within higher education due to their liminal status, and the volatile political context presents even more stress. This research study responds to literature regarding the need to explore higher education professionals who have the awareness, knowledge, and skills to support undocumented students (UDSC). This qualitative multiple case study explores the motivating factors of academic advisors in Illinois who have built UDSC. Using purposeful sampling, 19 academic advisors at three four-year institutions participated in an online survey, 11 also participated in semi-structured interviews, and documents were collected. An analysis of the data resulted in four primary interconnected themes: (1) Professional Responsibility as Advisor; (2) Human Rights, Social Justice, and Advocacy; (3) Institutional Context; (4) Political Climate and Increased Dialog. The findings indicate advisors are strongly motivated by personal factors, specifically their professional responsibility as an advisor to support students, and their beliefs for human rights, social justice, and advocacy carries into their role. Institutional factors were motivating if the advisor viewed their institution as taking a strong stance of support. The volatile political climate surrounding immigration was not found to be a strong motivating factor, but did influence the way in which advisors feel they needed to support undocumented students. A conceptual model of academic advisors supporting undocumented students is provided, including the various factors of influences (personal, institutional, and political), and how they operate as a system. This study concludes with practical implications for academic advisors and institutional agents, academic advising administrators, academic advising as a profession, and institutions.
Issue Date:2019-07-10
Rights Information:© 2019 Melissa Newell
Date Available in IDEALS:2019-11-26
Date Deposited:2019-08

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