On January 26, 2017, a DACA/CA Dream Act training for school counselors and college access providers at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels was hosted in partnership with the Southern California College Access Network (SoCal CAN), LAUSD, and the California Community Foundation.
Key points highlighted at today's event:
- The LAUSD Board of Education previously passed two resolutions reaffirming their commitment to standing with undocumented students and families [available here and here], as well as opened extended support sites in Local District offices for families to obtain immigration resource referrals. Still, the L.A. School Report highlighted an “urgent need” for school counselors, teachers, and staff to be better trained on immigration issues like DACA and the California Dream Act [article here]
- The current immigration climate is creating real fear. The California Student Aid Commission released figures showing a sharp decline in the number of California Dream Act applications submitted, relative to last year.
- DACA or no DACA, state aid is still available to help students pay for college. L.A. Cash for College and the California Student Aid Commission encourage undocumented high school seniors and current college students to submit their California Dream Act application at www.caldreamact.org by March 2nd.
- Students and families can get free assistance in completing their applications at any Cash for College workshop. You can find an upcoming workshop near you at www.lacashforcollege.org/workshops. Most college and university financial aid offices can also help students complete the AB540 affidavit, which grants students access to in-state tuition rates.
- Undocumented students also qualify for the L.A. College Promise. This initiative provides one year of free community college tuition and structured student supports for LAUSD graduates who enroll at any of the nine Los Angeles Community College District campuses. More information is available at www.lacollegepromise.org.
- Additional information and resources for educators, students, and parents is available on the L.A. Cash for College website.
- University of California - Undocumented Student Resources: http://undoc.universityofcalifornia.edu/
- California State University - AB 540 Resources for Students: http://www.calstate.edu/dreamact/index.shtml
- California Community Colleges - Resources for Undocumented Students: http://www.cccco.edu/resourcesforundocumentedstudents.aspx
- Educators for Fair Consideration - Resources for Educators: http://www.e4fc.org/
- United We Dream - Resources for Students and Educators: http://unitedwedream.org/
- MALDEF - 2017-2018 Scholarship Resource Guide: http://www.maldef.org/assets/pdf/2017-2018_MALDEF_Scholarship_List_10.2016.pdf
Additionally, the training focused on how to best advise students and families with respect to the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and the California Dream Act financial aid application. It featured presentations by representatives from the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), the California Student Aid Commission, and the California State University Chancellor’s Office. We had approximately 225 attendees, including LAUSD staff, public and public charter school counselors, and nonprofit service providers.