Immigrants and Community Colleges: Opportunities and Promise

April 13, 2018

Sponsored by the IIR and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Curriculum Collaborative

 

On Friday, April 13, 2018, the IIR and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Curriculum Collaborative hosted a conference on immigrants and the children of immigrants in the community college system. Sixty three participants attended, representing area high schools, community colleges, DREAMers, Fairfax community members, and Mason students and faculty. Dr. Michelle Marks, Mason Vice President for Academic Innovation and New Ventures, gave the keynote address. Experts shared their insights during a panel discussion, and five focus groups allowed participants to share their thoughts and experiences on a range of topics regarding immigrant students and community colleges.

Thanks to all of those who joined us and participated in a focus group. Your feedback is much appreciated. 

Conference attendees engaging with guest panelists

IIR Director Dr. Jim Witte provides an overview of immigrant college attainment. Guest panelists Teresita Wisell, Rodrigo Velasquez, Bianca Kwan, and Diana De Jesus-Brent present their personal and professional experience regarding immigration and community colleges. Attendees gather in focus group following presentation to discuss issues relating to the immigrant community college experience.
Attendees discuss challenges facing immigrant students. Attendees gather in focus group following presentation to discuss issues relating to the immigrant community college experience. Johnson Center, George Mason University, Fairfax Campus

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Thank you to all our Presenters!

witte

James Witte, Ph.D.

Director at Institute for Immigration Research

waslin

Michele Waslin, Ph.D.

Project Coordinator at the Institute for Immigration Research

kwan

Bianca Kwan

Research Assistant through the Office of Student Scholarship, Creative Activities, and Research

Rodrigo Velasquez

Rodrigo Velasquez

Senior Legislative Aide to Delegate Kathy Tran (D-Fairfax)

Teresita Wisell

Teresita Wisell

Vice President of Workforce Development and Community Education at Westchester Community College

Diana De Jesus-Brent

Diana De Jesus-Brent

ESOL school counselor at Centreville High School, Fairfax County

 

With special thanks to our keynote speaker Dr. Michelle Marks!

Dr. Michelle Marks presenting on new GMU NOVA venture Advance.

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Agenda:

10:00am: Welcome & Introduction- Jim Witte, Ph.D.
10:30am: Presentation of Immigrants and Community College Data
11:00am: Panel Discussion
12:00pm: Lunch
12:45pm: Regroup & Instructions for Focus Groups
1:00pm: Split into Focus Groups 
2:00pm: Keynote- Michelle Marks, Mason Vice President for Academic Innovation and New Ventures
2:55pm: Wrap Up

This event was sponsored by:

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Curriculum Collaborative (ICC) presents Conversations on Contemporary Issues. ICC members include the Bachelor of Individualized Study (BIS), Cultural Studies, the Higher Education Program, Master of Interdisciplinary Studies (MAIS), School of Integrative Studies, and Women and Gender Studies.

The Institute for Immigration Research's (IIR) mission is to refocus the immigration conversation among academics, policy-makers and the public, including the business community and media, by producing and disseminating unbiased and objective, interdisciplinary academic research related to immigrants and immigration to the United States.

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