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Community colleges serve as a critical gateway to English-language instruction, higher education, workforce training, and civic engagement for many immigrants and refugees looking to gain an economic foothold in the labor market and integrate into the social fabric of their communities. Coming from various walks of life with different goals and aspirations, immigrants and refugees have turned to community colleges to help them further their education, prepare for citizenship, or launch new careers. At a time when our nation is facing bitter political divides over its immigration policies and gridlock at the federal level, this book tells a different story: It showcases the exemplary initiatives of community colleges and their partners working together at local and state levels to integrate immigrants and refugees into the economic, social, and cultural fabric of our communities and our country, and it illustrates the various ways immigrant and refugee students enrich campus life, strengthen communities, and benefit our economy. This book shares the perspectives of community college CEOs and examines the role of leadership in adopting institution-wide strategies and allocating resources that have advanced immigrant and refugee integration on campus and in the community. We also learn how front-line practitioners make those strategies work through educational and career pathways that have enabled immigrants and refugees to pursue their academic and career goals and contribute to the economic prosperity and cultural vibrancy of their communities.
About the Author
Jill Casner-Lotto serves as director of the Community College Consortium for Immigrant Education (CCCIE), where she oversees research, communications, and policy development. She is the author of several CCCIE reports and articles providing best practices and resources to guide colleges in implementing immigrant/refugee education and workforce programs focused on ESL integrated career pathways, holistic student support services, and community-based, cross-sector partnerships. Teresita B. Wisell is executive director of CCCIE and serves as vice president of workforce development and community education at Westchester Community College, part of the State University of New York. In 2014, the White House recognized Ms. Wisell as a Champion of Change for her contributions to workplace citizenship programs.