Thesis

Comunidad, educacion y sueños: an analysis of career aspirations for undocumented youth

Thesis (M.A., Sociology)--California State University, Sacramento, 2018.

Research on undocumented students has been developed during the last decade, however, most of the sociological research on the undocumented community has focused on college students. This study examines the aspirational experiences among the general undocumented youth. Specifically, study asks the following questions: 1) what factors shape their career aspirations after graduating high school? 2)What are some of the challenges that the undocumented youth confront while maneuvering the educational system? 3)What are some of the social support that undocumented youth receive and/or lack in order to access the higher education system? Using interviews with open-ended questions, six individuals participated in this research and all were undocumented, with access to AB 540 and DACA. The analysis of findings was guided by critical race theory and community cultural wealth. The findings reveal that immigration status affects career aspirations and choices of undocumented youth; in addition, mentorship opportunities and family support significantly shape career aspirations. The study also offers insights on undocumented DACA recipients that do
 vi
 not attend college. Non-college participants’ career aspirations were highly influenced by the lack of policies like DACA and AB 540 (and other state policies such as the Dream Acts AB 30 and 31) that provide access to resources for undocumented students when they graduated from high school. Structuring access to higher education for the undocumented youth improves their aspirational success.

Research on undocumented students has been developed during the last decade, however, most of the sociological research on the undocumented community has focused on college students. This study examines the aspirational experiences among the general undocumented youth. Specifically, study asks the following questions: 1) what factors shape their career aspirations after graduating high school? 2)What are some of the challenges that the undocumented youth confront while maneuvering the educational system? 3)What are some of the social support that undocumented youth receive and/or lack in order to access the higher education system? Using interviews with open-ended questions, six individuals participated in this research and all were undocumented, with access to AB 540 and DACA. The analysis of findings was guided by critical race theory and community cultural wealth. The findings reveal that immigration status affects career aspirations and choices of undocumented youth; in addition, mentorship opportunities and family support significantly shape career aspirations. The study also offers insights on undocumented DACA recipients that do vi not attend college. Non-college participants’ career aspirations were highly influenced by the lack of policies like DACA and AB 540 (and other state policies such as the Dream Acts AB 30 and 31) that provide access to resources for undocumented students when they graduated from high school. Structuring access to higher education for the undocumented youth improves their aspirational success.

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