Understanding the Undocumented Student Experience: Proposing a Unified Model of Ethnic and Moral Development
Lyon, Theresa D
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The undocumented population continues to grow in the United States, with over 65,000 undocumented youth graduating from high school every year. The introduction of Plyler v. Doe has resulted in the mandatory inclusion of undocumented youth into the United State culture and public education system through their high school graduation. Upon high school graduation, undocumented students who strive to obtain a post-secondary degree often face a lack of financial resources or other forms of social support. It is imperative that student affairs professionals begin to critically reflect on the implications of social and financial barriers on undocumented college students’ psychosocial and cognitive development. This article provides a conceptual model of identity development and also takes a closer look at how select psychosocial and cognitive theories relate to the current research on the undocumented college student experience. The conceptual model presented is intended to prompt additional studies and critical reflection while also offering a brief synthesis of the current literature.