So, What Happens Now? The Post-Graduation Transitional Experiences of Recently Graduated Collegians who are Undocu/DACAmented
Stephen Santa-Ramirez

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship

Award Year



State University of New York at Buffalo

Primary Discipline

Higher Education
Nearly 100,000 students who identify as undocu/DACAmented graduate from U.S. high schools each year, with 2.1 million college-aged. For the last decade, there has been an increasingly growing body of scholarship centering these collegians, including their advocacy efforts and revealing the barriers they often encounter with access to and persistence in higher education. Little empirical research in this area highlights post-college outcomes associated with legal uncertainty. Guided by UndocuCrit and transition theoretical connections, this phenomenological study investigates the post-college career preparatory and post-graduation experiences of recently graduated undergraduate collegians who are undocu/DACAmented in the Southwest and Northeast regions of the United States. The results will contribute to existing literature centering undocu/DACAmented collegians? lived experiences, offering exigent implications for institutional agents and policymakers interested in retention, student success, and post-graduation preparedness to more effectively engage with and holistically support these collegians as they transition in, through, and out of college.
About Stephen Santa-Ramirez
Dr. Stephen Santa-Ramirez (he/him) broadly investigates the ideological, historical, and structural inequalities that impact racially minoritized and migrant communities. More specifically, he centers on campus racial climate, first-generation students of Colors? transitions and belongingness, college student activism and resistance, and the various ways race, ethnicity, and im/migration policies inform the experiences of collegians who are undocu/DACAmented. Dr. Santa-Ramirez is currently an Assistant Professor of Higher Education at the University at Buffalo (UB), which operates on the unceded ancestral territory of the Seneca Nation of the Haudenosaunee Six Nations Confederacy. Prior to joining the faculty at UB, he taught for the Philadelphia Freedom Schools, Michigan State University, The University of Texas at Arlington, and Arizona State University. In addition to authoring a host of book chapters, some of his recently published work can be located in the Journal of First-generation Student Success, Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, and the Journal of Hispanic Higher Education. Dr. Santa-Ramirez is a 2022 Diamond Honoree via ACPA ? College Student Educators International ? a prestigious honor for professionals who have made and continue to make a tremendous impact in the field of higher education and student affairs. Furthermore, in recent years, he received the ACPA Latinx Network Community Advancement & Service Award, is a Legacy of Leadership honor recipient from West Chester University, and was selected as a Fellow for NASPA?s Emerging Faculty Leadership Academy and the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE). Dr. Santa-Ramirez obtained his Ph.D. in Educational Policy and Evaluation and a graduate certificate in Socio-economic Justice from Arizona State University.

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