Dream Outreach Center for undocumented students to open

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Dream Outreach Center for undocumented students to open

A Dream Outreach Center will be established at Fresno State to address the unique needs and challenges faced by undocumented students who desire a college education.

Dr. Frank Lamas, vice president for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, announced the new program designed to help make a Fresno State education more accessible for some Valley students.

“These students are confronted with major hurdles as they attempt to navigate the enrollment and financial aid processes to gain access to higher education,” Lamas said.

“Students finding resources to pay college and living expenses is an ongoing challenge,” Lamas said. “In addition, guidance and support is needed with resolving challenges as they persist through the university. We expect our new Dream Outreach Center will facilitate a sense of belonging for students and will help accomplish a higher rate of student success.”

The Dream Outreach Center will:

  • Provide guidance on matters related to college access, including applying to college, financial aid, scholarships and overcoming personal and social challenges.
  • Foster a safe and welcoming environment for students and their families.
  • Create professional development opportunities to familiarize and update the campus community, school educators and others on admissions, financial policies, regulations, legislative actions and other matters critical to the success of undocumented students.
  • Make referrals to a comprehensive network of services that support student persistence through to degree completion.
  • Raise awareness about the college experience of undocumented students.

The program will be developed in several phases and the university will be utilizing existing resources for the first phase (re-assigning staff and re-organizing office space to establish the center) so there is no set funding allocation for it yet but the in-kind value at this point is approximately, $170,000 Lamas said.

Services for undocumented students will be housed in two locations. For incoming students, the Dream Outreach Center will be in the University Outreach Services office located in the University Center building, Room 100 (east of the Madden Library).  Ongoing academic and personal support services for currently enrolled students will be in the Student Success Services office located in the Joyal Administration Building, Room 224.

The center is expected to open by the beginning of the fall semester in mid-August.

Administrative oversight for the 610 undocumented/AB540 and about 400 migrant students currently enrolled will be under two units in the Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management.

Outreach or access functions will report under Dr. Malisa Lee, associate vice president for Enrollment Services. Frances Pena, director of University Outreach Services, and Raul Moreno, coordinator of the University Migrant Service program, will be responsible for coordinating these functions.

Student support functions will report to Maxine McDonald, associate vice president for Student Success Management through the Educational Opportunity Program.

For more information, contact Maxine McDonald at maxinem@csufresno.edu or Malisa Lee at 559.278.2541.