Graduate Program

College Student Affairs

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Semester of Degree Completion

Spring 2020

Thesis Director

Jon K. Coleman

Thesis Committee Member

Catherine L. Polydore

Thesis Committee Member

Kelly P. Miller


There are complex challenges undocumented students in higher education face including the legal system, psychological stressors, campus climate, and financial assistance. This qualitative study was designed to look at how student affairs professionals support undocumented students and their critical role in supporting these students in navigating higher education. Four semi-structured interviews were conducted with participants whose professional position was specifically focused on working with undocumented students. From this study, the researcher identified the challenges undocumented students faced, beneficial resources that supported them, and additional needs that were not being met on these campuses. Recommendations for programs and services for student affairs professionals and institutions are also provided.