Immigrants in Community Colleges

Organization: Robert T. Teranishi Carola Suarez–Orozco Marcelo Suarez–Orozco. <em>The Future of Children.</em> Princeton University. Brookings Institute.

To attend to the growing needs of a growing immigrant population, community colleges offer one particularly important venue for educating and engaging that population. Because they are conveniently located, cost much less than four–year colleges, feature open admissions, and accommodate students who work or have family responsibilities, community colleges are well suited to meet the educational needs of immigrants who want to obtain an affordable postsecondary education, learn English–language skills, and prepare for the labor market. The authors explore how community colleges can serve immigrant students more effectively. Already, more immigrant students attend community colleges than any other type of postsecondary institution. But community colleges could attract even more immigrant students through various types of outreach programs. Although there are many good ideas for interventions that can boost enrollment and improve the performance of immigrant students in community colleges, rigorous research on effective programs is scant and needs to be enhanced in order to inform policy makers and community colleges on increasing the educational achievement of immigrant students.


Teranishi, R.T., Suarez–Orozco, C., Suarez–Orozco, M. (2011) "Immigrants in Community Colleges." Immigrant Children 21 (1). The Future of Children. Retrieved from: