Discourse and Opportunity: Undocumented Students and Higher Education Policy
Ryan Gildersleeve

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship

Award Year



University of Denver

Primary Discipline

Higher Education
This study critically analyzes one of the most controversial policy mechanisms in America today—In-State Resident Tuition (ISRT) policy for undocumented students in higher education. Historically, education has been the purview of the states, while immigration has been a federal responsibility. ISRTs represent a tension where these policy domains intersect, provoking questions about the role of higher education and college access in democracy. This project uses Critical Discourse Analysis and Policy Discourse Analysis to interrogate the ideologies that circulate in ISRT policy and the political contexts from which they emerge. By first applying policy discourse analysis to the text of ISRT policies and then applying critical discourse analysis to the political and popular rhetoric surrounding them, this study examines the discursive effects and material consequences of ISRT policy. Findings will inform future policy-making and the relationship between higher education and democracy.
About Ryan Gildersleeve

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