Higher education institutional agents as policy implementers: The case of policies that affect undocumented and DACAmented students

This study examined the role higher education institutional agents had as implementers of policies that affected undocumented and DACAmented students. A total of 45 community college professionals in states with equitable and exclusionary policies pertaining to undocumented students’ college access (California, Connecticut, Georgia, and Wisconsin) were interviewed. The findings explore those factors that shaped higher education institutional agents’ implementation of policies that affected undocumented and DACAmented students. This includes the changing implementation landscape, policy vagueness, implementation burden, and institutional support. Additionally, the findings revealed several roles that policy implementers fulfilled: facilitator of educational opportunity, compliance officer, learner and disseminator of implementation strategies, and supporter and advocate. This investigation also examined the conflict that implementers experienced within their roles. This study is significant because understanding how higher education institutional agents are implementing policies for undocumented and DACAmented students may help reshape practices in postsecondary institutions in an effort to expand educational opportunities for these students.

Nienhusser, H. K. (in press). Higher education institutional agents as policy implementers: The case of policies that affect undocumented and DACAmented students. The Review of Higher Education, 41(3).

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